TRS to suspend MLAs accused of cross-voting

Cracking the whip, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) tonight decided to suspend three of its MLAs for allegedly voting for Congress in the election to Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council.

Last Updated: Mar 19, 2011, 23:52 PM IST

Hyderabad: Cracking the whip, Telangana
Rashtra Samiti (TRS) tonight decided to suspend three of its
MLAs for allegedly voting for Congress in the election to
Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council.

The TRS politburo, which met at party chief K
Chandrasekhar Rao`s residence for a marathon five hours,
decided to suspend K Vidyasagar Rao, Y Ravinder Reddy and
Kaveti Sammaiah, TRS sources said.

Earlier in the evening, the three MLAs submitted
resignation from the House and said they would abide by
whatever decision the party took.

Addressing the media at the end of the politburo meeting,
Rao said resignation of the three MLAs would be forwaded to
the Assembly Deputy Speaker for acceptance.

He alleged it was Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy who
had lured the three MLAs to vote for the Congress candidate.

"We have concrete information in this regard and one of
the three errant MLAs has accepted his guilt," he claimed.

A storm had been brewing in TRS for the past two days
following allegations that three of its MLAs cross voted in
favour of a Congress candidate in an alleged "cash-for-vote"
deal.

While Vidyasagar Rao and Y Ravinder Reddy submitted their
resignation letter to TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao ahead
of the party`s politburo meeting this evening, another
legislator Sammaiah faxed it.

Vidyasagar Rao, a close relative of the TRS chief, and
Ravinder Reddy told reporters that they would rather quit
their posts than bear the insinuations that they had cross
voted against the party.

"It is for our party president to take a decision now. It
is totally baseless to say we voted against the TRS` official
candidate in the Council election. We voted strictly according
to the code given to us. We cannot bear character
assassination," Vidyasagar Rao and Ravinder Reddy maintained.

TRS, which has only 11 MLAs in the AP Assembly, put up a
candidate for the Council election hoping to garner votes from
other parties on the "Telangana sentiment".

Its plan, however, went awry as it secured only 11 votes
in the election despite two BJP and one TDP rebel MLA voting
for TRS.

This exposed the cracks in TRS and raised suspicion that
three of its MLAs had ditched the party.

Ever since, TRS came under severe pressure not only from
within but also other pro-Telangana groups to take stern
action against the "traitors."

Rao convened an emergency meeting of the party politburo
at his residence this evening to discuss the issue.

Ravinder Reddy walked out of the meeting in a huff and
announced he was resigning. "It is now for the party president
to take a decision," he said.

PTI