Refuses to support the TRS-sponsored no confidence motion in the Assembly

The Telugu Desam Party threw a lifeline to the Kiran Kumar Reddy government by refusing to support the Telangana Rashtra Samithi-sponsored no confidence motion in the Assembly even while making a desperate attempt to keep its flock together.

Though for record’s sake, TDP leaders contend that it has decided against supporting the TRS and YSR Congress “as both of them have clear intention of merging into the Congress sooner or later,” the principal Opposition was worried about the fallout of the motion.

Testing the ground

The party, it now appears, made discreet enquiries with legal experts and election officials on the fate of the MLAs who had crossed over to the YSR Congress and TRS, the time taken for their disqualification and the timing of the by-elections, before coming to a decision on the motion. The party recently suspended five MLAs, Kodali Nani, Vanitha, Praveen Kumar Reddy, Amarnath Reddy and Sairaj, for shifting their loyalties to YSR Congress. Balanagi Reddy had crossed over to the YSRC earlier.

On the other hand, K. Harishwar Reddy is sailing with the TRS, while S. Venugopala Chary too has been gravitating towards pro-Telangana parties but has not taken any decision so far. Leaving another MLA Suman Rathod, who has no voting right on a court’s direction, the TDP’s effective strength has come down to 77.

Chain reaction

If the TDP had decided to move a motion on its own, it would have triggered a chain reaction, prompting the Congress to proceed against its MLAs who have either resigned or crossed over to the YSRC. The pressure would then be on the TDP to act in a similar manner against its own MLAs. Sources in the TDP said the leadership was wary of taking such precipitate action at this juncture.

After weighing the pros and cons, the TDP leadership appears to have taken a decision, even if it meant inviting criticism of having colluded with the Congress Government and of breaking the time-tested convention of supporting an Opposition party sponsored motion against the government.

Decision defended

During a media briefing, however, TDLP deputy leaders Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu and Motkupalli Narsimhulu stoutly defended the decision.

They wondered how they could support parties one of which wants to use the motion to seek bail for its leader, Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy, and another which is looking for a “bail-out” package for its leader, K. Chandrasekhar Rao. “We will not be dictated by such tail parties and we know when to move such a motion.”