Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar accepted the resignations of four MLAs – two each of the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party – and rejected the letters submitted en masse by 61 other legislators belonging to different political parties.
The four MLAs whose resignations he accepted are: former Minister Jupalli Krishna Rao and T. Rajaiah (both Congress), Gampa Goverdhan and Jogu Ramanna (TDP).
There are now seven vacancies in the 294-member Assembly since the Speaker had earlier accepted the resignations of Nagam Janardhan Reddy and N. Prasanna Kumar Reddy, both TDP, while the Mahabubnagar seat fell vacant following the death of an independent member N. Rajeshwar Reddy.
Defection to TRS
What weighed with the Speaker while accepting the resignations of the four MLAs was their open declaration that they had defected to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). Mr. Manohar's announcement was in line with his intent to dispose of the petitions before the commencement of winter session of the Assembly slated on December 1.
Though there was scope for initiating action against the four MLAs under the provisions of the Anti-Defection Law, the Speaker is learnt to have preferred to accept their resignation letters as was done in the past.
Mr. Manohar considered the resignations tendered en masse, though in batches, by 61 other MLAs on the ground that they were made in an emotionally surcharged atmosphere.
They include 35 MLAs of the TDP (all but one from Telangana), Congress - 24, Praja Rajyam (Shoba Nagi Reddy) and an independent Somarapu Satynarayana.
Among them, Y. Balinagi Reddy of the TDP had switched loyalties to YSR Congress Party as did the 24 Congress MLAs.
The Speaker's decision rings the curtains down on the political drama being witnessed during the past several months when a majority of the MLAs were said to be pleading with him in private not to accept their papers.