Congress, TRS cross swords on Telangana council chairman election

Alleging that the ruling TRS is trying to wrest the Telangana Legislative Council chairman`s post through unethical means, Congress on Monday petitioned the Governor to postpone the election to the position.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 30, 2014, 22:16 PM IST

Hyderabad: Alleging that the ruling TRS is trying to wrest the Telangana Legislative Council chairman`s post through unethical means, Congress on Monday petitioned the Governor to postpone the election to the position.

As per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, the chairman is to be elected to the council. Deputy chairman of the council in undivided AP state, N Vidyasagar, has been officiating as the chairman, pending election to the post.
The council has now been convened for a meeting on July 2.

Five MLCs of Congress have recently joined TRS, which reduced the strength of the party to 12, and the national party filed petitions for their disqualification.

"We brought this undemocratic matter to the notice of the Governor. We have seen how the defections (of MLCs) happened recently. You can say that these defections have been engineered by the government," Congress leader in the council D Srinivas told reporters.
"The legislature session ended just 10 days ago. You can understand how deplorable it is to convene the session with just two days` notice for the election of chairman," he said.

The memorandum submitted to Governor E S L Narasimhan said, "The Telangana Chief Minister, with a plan to put the disqualification petition in cold storage by putting his party person as a chairman, Telangana Legislative Council, with an ulterior motive got the notification issued for chairman`s election."

Noting that the election for the chairman`s post would be held by ballot, Srinivas alleged that it is being done to "save" the defectors.

Never an election in legislature took place by ballot in composite Andhra Pradesh, he said recalling that the election to the post of Speaker of undivided AP Assembly in the recent past was done by headcount.

The Governor responded positively to their request to put off the election, Srinivas added.

In the 40-member House, TRS has 15 members after the defections, Congress (12), TDP (04), MIM (two) and PDF (2). There are five vacancies and the magic figure is 18.