Drawing flak from various quarters within his party, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana on Tuesday made a vain bid to extricate himself from his controversial remark that nine party MLAs sailing with the YSR Congress were deemed to be as good as being expelled.
Mr. Satyanarayana was at pains to clarify that he had not gone on record that these MLAs had been expelled. Apparently facing the heat after some Congress leaders lodged a complaint with the high command, Mr. Satyanarayana maintained that all he had said was those, who did not have any respect for the Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi were not Congressmen.
The PCC president at a press conference last week had said that the MLAs who had resigned from the party or were hobnobbing with rival parties were deemed to have been expelled. “There are at least nine such MLAs but I will not reveal their names,” he had observed.
But on Tuesday, at a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, he said: “It is the media which read too much into the statement. I never said nine MLAs have been expelled. I said those who do not toe the party line are deemed to have been expelled.”
Sources said the PCC president was on the back foot as his remarks had taken the party leadership by surprise. It literally sent an indication that the Congress Government was reduced to a minority after the expulsion of nine MLAs. His remarks, coming at a time when the party was rejoicing at its impressive performance in the co-operative polls, were construed to be ill timed and irresponsible. What could have forced him to give clarification today were reports that the high command too had taken a dim view of his earlier statement.
‘I never said nine MLAs have been expelled. I said those who do not toe the party line are deemed to have been expelled’