Hyderabad: The ruling Congress in Andhra
Pradesh is said to be in a big dilemma over seeking
disqualification of 16 of its MLAs who defied the party whip
and voted in favour of the no-confidence motion against the
Kiran Kumar Reddy government in the Assembly two days ago.
Though for the record the party says it will move for
disqualification, in reality it is said to be concerned over
the prospect of facing by-elections to 24 seats in one go, at
a time when it is facing rough weather in Telangana region
over the statehood issue and due to the Jaganmohan Reddy
factor in Andhra-Rayalaseema regions.
By-elections will become inevitable to these 16 seats
currently held by the Congress and another by the Praja
Rajyam, if these MLAs are disqualified for violating their
respective party whips.
Though another Congress MLA defied the whip and abstained
from voting in the no-confidence motion, the party is in no
mood to proceed against him now, informed sources said.
Already seven vacancies exist in the House, caused by the
death of one MLA and resignation of six others last month, for
which by-elections should be held within six months. Out of
the six seats in Telangana, where by-elections need to be
held, the Congress till recently held two while its
`associate` member held another.
It will be a miracle if the Congress wins even one seat
in Telangana as it faces strong antagonism in the region for
the "dilly-dallying" on the statehood issue, political
observers say. The mood is also not said to be favourable for
the party in the Andhra-Rayalaseema regions either because of
the `Jagan factor`, they say.
It was probably the reason that made Jagan throw an open
challenge to the Congress to disqualify the MLAs who voted
against the government and go for by-elections.
The stakes will be too high for the Congress in all the
regions as it is the party in power, the observers say.
Already, its own strength has been reduced to just 137 in
the 294-member House following resignations and defections by