Rebel MLAs of the ruling Congress and the main Opposition TDP have asked Speaker Nadendla Manohar to expedite the process for their disqualification to facilitate by-elections at the earliest.
The MLAs met the Speaker on Thursday on receiving show cause notices for defying the party whip during the no-confidence motion. They said they would abide by the decision of the Chair, but asked Mr. Manohar to complete the processes to enable the speedy conduct of the by-polls. “Any delay in deciding on the disqualification petitions will be construed as a conspiracy to keep us away from the people without holding the elections,” rebel Congress MLA Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) said.
Pedana MLA Jogi Ramesh went a step further in alleging that the Congress and the TDP were not in favour of a speedy decision on their disqualification as they were afraid of facing people in the by-polls. “YSR Congress will field its candidates and we are making an offer to the two principal parties to either contest independently or field a joint nominee from all these constituencies,” he said.
Another Congress MLA, M. Rajesh, wondered how the ruling party could issue a whip to him when he had submitted his resignation from the party as well as the MLA post six months ago.
TDP MLA from Gudivada Kodali Nani said he had not received any whip from the party, but if the Speaker believed it was indeed served, he could disqualify him and hold elections at the earliest. “There should also be clarity on whether TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu can continue as the Opposition leader after he had asked the MLAs not to vote against the Congress government in spite of its anti-people policies,” he said. He demanded that Mr. Naidu should be removed from the post as he had conveniently ignored his role as the Opposition leader in extending tacit support to the government. “He (Mr. Naidu) should not have directed his party MLAs against voting in the no-confidence motion if he was sincere to his role as Opposition leader,” he said.