Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh is in New Delhi today and the issue pertaining to the disqualification of the Jagan Mohan Reddy loyalists is expected to be taken up. Although the official version from the Congress is that Reddy has flown down to Delhi to wish Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi on her birthday, sources say that this daunting issue is the real reason why he is in Delhi.
Last week during the trust vote, 19 Jagan loyalists openly voted in favour of the no confidence motion. This was done by them despite the Congress issuing a whip telling all its MLAs to defeat the motion. Kiran Reddy had said that anyone disobeying the whip would be disqualified. A week later there is no decision on this.
There was an important meeting of the Congress in Andhra Pradesh yesterday. The opinions of various leaders was taken and yet the meeting remained inconclusive. A majority of the leaders felt that disqualifying these MLAs would mean forcing 19 different by elections in the state and going by the trend it appears that Jagan would have the advantage which would mean an embarrassment for the Congress party in AP.
The Jagan camp is however waiting for a decision from the Congress on this issue. Despite all these MLAs resigning to their MLA seats and also from the Congress party, the decision hangs in balance. Neither the speaker nor the party’s high command have accepted any of these resignations as yet.
While the Congress is worried about a poor showing in the event of an election, they also cannot sit quiet on the matter. In case no action is taken against these MLAs then it would set a very bad precedent. Many leaders during the meeting also voiced in this concern. If they let these MLAs go without any action, then it would set a precendent among all other MLAs to disobey whips and also cross vote on the floor of the house and not face any action.
Sources in the Congress party say that they would definitely be some action on the issue. At least a reprimand would be on the cards as none of them would like to give Jagan any advantage on this issue.
Jagan on the other hand has remained silent about this issue and his camp members say that they will win all the seats in case of a by poll. Let the Congress be rest assured that the intention is not to topple the government, but to slowly build a strong party right from the grass root level in the state of Andhra Pradesh.