Hyderabad, March 18 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Friday said some Congress legislators loyal to former MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy indulged in cross-voting to defeat the party candidate in the elections to legislative council.
He told reporters that he would complain to the central leadership about the legislators who did not vote according to the directions given to them. The party, however, would not initiate disqualification proceedings against them, he said.
Many of the 22 Congress legislators loyal to Jagan, as the son of the late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is popularly called, are believed to have indulged in cross-voting, making things difficult for the party’s candidate Mohammed Jani.
The Congress had asked them to cast their first preference vote to Jani but most of them voted for Altaf Hyder Razvi, the candidate of the party’s ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).
Jani, however, scraped through by a narrow margin over opposition Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) candidate Pratibha Bharati in the elimination round.
All seven candidates of the Congress and its allies were elected to the upper house. Two candidates of the TDP and one of its ally Communist Party of India (CPI) were also elected.
The elections to the 10 council seats were held Thursday and the results were announced in the night.
The chief minister suggested to the Election Commission that the ballot system for council elections should be made similar to the one followed for Rajya Sabha elections.
He said cross-voting can be checked by making it compulsory for every voter to show his vote to party agent before casting it.
Kiran Kumar Reddy also announced that Jani would be the Congress’ coordinator for coming by-elections to the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula assembly seats.
By picking up Jani, the Congress plans to target Jagan in Kadapa constituency which has a sizeable chunk of Muslim voters.
Jagan and his mother Vijayalaxmi quit the Congress and also Lok Sabha and assembly seats respectively in November last year.
“The high command is looking into the issue of some MLAs meeting Jagan who belongs to another party,” Kiran Kumar Reddy said.
Jagan last week floated the YSR Congress party.