Political situation fast changing over ‘T’ issue and defections to YSR Congress
With as many as 30 members of the Legislative Council retiring in March and May, Congress leaders are on tenterhooks as the political situation is fast changing over the Statehood issue and defections to the YSR Congress (YSRC).
Infighting among leaders, divisions along regional lines and the suspect loyalties of few MLAs are causing discomfiture to not only the Congress but the Telugu Desam Party as well.
In the 90-member Council, 22 members will retire on March 29 and eight on May 1 on completion of their six-year term.
The vacancies in different constituencies will be as follows: Assembly Constituency (10) Local bodies (10), Nominated by Governor (four) and Graduates (three) and Teachers (three). Elections are unlikely to be conducted for nine of the 10 vacancies in the local authorities constituencies as there is uncertainty over polls in these bodies.
Leader of Opposition Dadi Veerabhadra Rao (Telugu Desam Party), Ch. Seetharamulu (Communist Party of India-Marxist), Jalli Wilson (Communist Party of India), Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, S. Indrasain Reddy and Chief Whip Bharati Ragya Naik (all Congress) are notable among those members who will demit office. Realignment of political forces with improved strength of Telangana Rashtra Samiti, YSRC and MIM could make the difference in the Assembly constituency. With 41 votes among them, they can turn the tables on the Congress and the TDP.
In the 294 member Assembly, the party wise break-up of MLAs in Assembly is: INC (155), TDP (86), YSRC and TRS (17 each), MIM (Seven), CPI (four), BJP (three), CPI (M) and LSP (one each) and three independents.
Dissident MLAs’ preference and influence of money power could deal a strong blow to the Congress, ruling party leaders fear.
At least four Congress MLAs -- Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao (Bobbili), M. Rajesh Kumar (Chintalapudi), A.K. Srinivas aka Nani (Eluru) and B. Sivaprasada Reddy (Darsi) are with the YSRC and a few more are likely to shift loyalties after Sankranti.
“Our own MLAs are openly hobnobbing with the YSRC and few others are threatening to join the TRS, if Telangana is not given. What will the party do if some independents are in fray? Scope for cash-for-vote deciding the fate of candidates is high,” a senior Congress legislator remarked.
The Left parties may draw a blank unless they get the support of other parties.