Cross-voting row: party leadership may take a lenient view

The three Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) MLAs, who were suspended by the party two weeks ago on the charge of cross-voting in the elections to Legislative Council from the Assembly quota, may be let off the hook though not immediately.

The MLAs -- E. Ravinder Reddy, K. Vidyasagar Rao, and Kaveti Sammaiah -- were said to have appealed to the leadership to excuse them but the party was waiting for the passage of time before taking a lenient view.

“It will take some time,” a senior leader said. In this context, he referred to the party taking a lenient view with regard to the suspension of another party MLA G. Arvind Reddy. The MLA was suspended by the party for airing his views that separate Telangana would not happen. Mr. Reddy subsequently resigned along with other TRS MLAs and was re-nominated by the party to contest the byelections from Mancherial which he won by a margin of 78,700 votes.

Pushed to the wall

The TRS has been pushed to the wall in the controversy surrounding the MLAs who had indulged in alleged cross-voting as the party has been accused of fielding a candidate in the Council elections though he did not stand a chance of winning.

Against 27 first preference votes required to win, the party had only 11. Having put up its candidate, the party was found lax in taking precautions to keep its flock together. Moreover, the punishment was considered too harsh as the party suspended a quarter of its MLAs in one stroke.

On their part, the MLAs defied the party's diktat to resign from the Assembly. “Why should we resign when we have done nothing wrong?” one of the MLAs said. The TRS wanted the MLAs to resign if they wanted to continue in the party.

The MLAs reportedly wanted to continue in the party as the Telangana movement was at its peak.

The MLAs said if they were kept out of the movement, it would mean a “political death” for them.