Setting at rest the speculation that the Congress might delay disqualification of 16 MLAs who defied the whip and voted against the government in the Assembly on December 5 on the advice of their leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, notices have been issued to them to appear before the speaker before December 29 and to submit explanation on the charges made in the party’s petition against them.
The speaker wanted written explanation from each of the 16 legislators on any day in the next seven days to him at his office in the Assembly and he would make himself available throughout the week to receive their representations. Government whip Kondru Murali and Congress MLA Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy met the speaker earlier in the day and requested him to initiate the proceedings against all the 16 MLAs for defying the party whip and supporting the noconfidence motion against the government moved by TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
Murali filed the disqualification petitions before the speaker on December 12 after the party high command had given the green signal to the party’s state leadership to proceed against the the MLAs who betrayed the party at the crucial hour. According to sources in the speaker’s office, if any one of the legislators, in the written explanation to him, challenges the action of the party, the speaker will have to hold hearings. If, for any reason, any MLA does not give written explanation to him before the deadline of December 29, the speaker can take a decision ex parte.
As regards the petition before the speaker filed by the PRP leadership seeking disqualification of Allagadda MLA B Shobha Nagireddy, the deadline is December 27. As Shobha Nagireddy is contending that the PRP’s whip has no validity since the party merged itself into the Congress, the speaker will conduct a hearing in her case but nevertheless she will be required to give her explanation.
She told reporters that she would meet the speaker along with her lawyers to build a case that the PRP whip did not apply to her since the PRP existed no longer.
The speaker, not only in her case, but also in the cases of those who dispute the disqualification petitions, may hire lawyers to argue their cases before him.
Meanwhile, PCC President Botcha Satyanarayana said there was no question of forgiving the MLAs who had switched their loyalty to YS Jagan Moan Redy’s party. “We want to go against all of them. Jagan planned to force byelections and wants the Congress to contest all the 24 seats including the seven that fell vacant- six in Telangana and one in Nellore. Express Buzz