Hyderabad: The ruling Congress` game plan of getting the YSR Congress candidates disqualified from contesting June 12 by-elections in Andhra Pradesh fell flat with the Election Commission rejecting its plea in this regard.
Government Chief Whip Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy submitted a petition to state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bhanwar Lal on Saturday requesting the Election Commission to reject the nominations of 16 YSR Congress candidates, as they were disqualified from the Assembly only in March this year under the Anti-Defection Act.
The Chief Whip wanted the EC to bar these MLAs from contesting the elections in accordance with Section 36 (2) (a) of the Representation of People Act.
The CEO, however, clarified that the 16 MLAs were disqualified by Assembly Speaker as per the Article 191 (2) of the Constitution of India.
The Speaker in his order on March 2 (related to 16 MLAs) had noted that he/she "ceases to be a member of the House" only.
"This cannot be construed as a bar on getting elected to the House. As such, there can be no bar on their contesting the election," Bhanwar Lal clarified.
The Section 36 (2) (a) of RPA doesn`t apply in this case, he added, as it should be read with Article 191 (1) of the Constitution.