Cross-voting: Cong wants 16 AP MLAs disqualified

Last Updated: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 17:48

New Delhi: Seeking to send a strong signal, Congress on Saturday decided to seek disqualification of 16 party MLAs in Andhra Pradesh who sided with YS Jaganmohan Reddy and voted against the party government in the Assembly, defying the whip.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was summoned here by the High Command, made the announcement after his meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and general secretary in-charge of the state Ghulam Nabi Azad.
"The disqualification of all MLAs who defied the party
whip and voted against the government (during the
no-confidence motion brought by opposition parties on Monday)
will be sought," he told a press conference here.

16 Congress MLAs owing allegiance to YSR Congress chief
Jagan voted in favour of the no-confidence motion defying the
party whip issued to vote against the motion. Two other MLAs
abstained from voting.

"As per the 10th schedule of Constitution, their
disqualification will be sought by the Congress Legislature
Party. Our party MPs, leaders, cadres and PCC have expressed
the same desire. We are going ahead with it
(disqualification)," he said.

Kiran Reddy said the CLP would write to the Speaker
seeking disqualification of 16 MLAs, while it would ask the
two MLAs, who abstained from voting, to explain why they were
absent.
"The disqualification of all MLAs who defied the party
whip and voted against the government (during the
no-confidence motion brought by opposition parties on Monday)
will be sought," he told a press conference here.

16 Congress MLAs owing allegiance to YSR Congress chief
Jagan voted in favour of the no-confidence motion defying the
party whip issued to vote against the motion. Two other MLAs
abstained from voting.

"As per the 10th schedule of Constitution, their
disqualification will be sought by the Congress Legislature
Party. Our party MPs, leaders, cadres and PCC have expressed
the same desire. We are going ahead with it
(disqualification)," he said.
Kiran Reddy said the CLP would write to the Speaker
seeking disqualification of 16 MLAs, while it would ask the
two MLAs, who abstained from voting, to explain why they were
absent.

The act of the 16 MLAs had highly embarrassed the
Congress and the government in Andhra Pradesh and party
leaders have been demanding their disqualification.

To a question, he said the PRP will take action against
two of its MLAs who voted in favour of the motion as the party
is still considered a separate group in the Assembly. PRP
merged with Congress earlier this year.

If the 16 MLAs are disqualified, the Congress` strength
in the 294-member Assembly would come down to 137, 11 short
of the magic figure of 148. But it now has the support of 17
MLAs of PRP.

On whether the party would be able to win all the 16
seats in the by-elections after Speaker disqualifies them,
Kiran Reddy said, "The result will come only after the
elections. Let the elections be announced first. I cannot
predict..."

On the Telangana issue, he said the consultations within
the party at the state level was over and discussions at the
Central level was going on.

"The Centre and the party will take a decision in the
best interests of Andhra Pradesh keeping in mind the state`s
future. They will take a decision at the right time," the
Chief Minister said.

On whether he would go for a cabinet expansion now, he
said, "We will inform you. That will happen as and when the
need arises and when the High Command wants it to happen."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 17:48

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