Andhra Pradesh

Jolt to Telugu Desam

DEFIANCE: TDP MLA Ch. Ramakotaiah (second from left) arriving at Assembly along with Ministers and Congress MLAs from Krishna district in Hyderabad on Thursday. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

DEFIANCE: TDP MLA Ch. Ramakotaiah (second from left) arriving at Assembly along with Ministers and Congress MLAs from Krishna district in Hyderabad on Thursday. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu   | Photo Credit: K_RAMESH BABU

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Five MLAs defy Naidu to vote in Presidential election

The Telugu Desam received a jolt on Thursday when five of its MLAs voted in the Presidential election in defiance of the party’s decision to abstain from the polling.

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu had just on Tuesday announced the party’s decision to abstain, saying the party cannot be seen to be supporting Pranab Mukherjee, nominee of the “anti-people” Congress-led coalition and P.A. Sangma, candidate backed by “communal” BJP-led NDA.

But showing open defiance, the party MLAs -- Y. Balanagi Reddy (Mantralayam), Ch. Ramakotaiah (Nuzvid), S. Venugopalachary (Mudhole), K. Harishwar Reddy (Parigi) and Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao alias Nani (Gudivada) -- exercised their franchise. Three of them said they voted in favour of UPA candidate Mr. Mukherjee while the remaining two cast their vote for Mr. Sangma.

The Congress too faced similar embarrassment as two of its MLAs -- Sujaya Krishna Ranga Rao (Bobbili) and A.K. Srinivas alias Nani (Eluru) -- arrived in the company of YSR Congress leaders with the former sporting the party’s scarf.

At the end of polling, it was clear that Mr. Mukherjee would poll an overwhelming majority of the votes cast in Andhra Pradesh and Mr. Sangma may have to remain content with the support of only four MLAs, two each of the BJP and TDP rebels.

Only 190 out of the 293 eligible MLAs and three MPs cast their vote following the decision of the TDP, the TRS and the CPI to abstain. The break-up of these MLAs is as follows: Congress 155, YSR Congress 17, MIM 7, BJP 2, independents two, CPI (M) and Lok Satta one each. Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and former Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao, were escorted from Chanchalguda jail to the Assembly to cast their vote.

Coming close on the heels of the TDP’s poor performance in the recent by-polls, the defiance of the five MLAs has caused a piquant situation for the party. It may not be even able to take firm action such as disqualification against them as EC has not allowed issuance of a whip.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 11:32:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/jolt-to-telugu-desam/article3658689.ece

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