The disqualification of 16 MLAs owing allegiance to YS Jaganmohan Reddy — and the resultant bypolls in the constituencies they represent — is set to test the standing of the late YSR’s son in Andhra Pradesh.
On Friday, AP assembly speaker Nadendla Manohar disqualified 16 Congress MLAs from the Jagan camp. The MLAs had voted in favour of a no-confidence motion against the Kiran Reddy government — moved by the TDP in December — resulting in the party’s decision to expel them.
The Election Commission has indicated that the by-elections in the 16 seats (and one of a Praja Rajyam Party MLA who resigned in support of Reddy) will be held in May.
“The by-elections would be crucial for Jagan in the run-up to the state elections in 2014. Trends indicate Jagan’s MLAs could retain the seats, but the victory margins will be the real indicators. If the margins are big, more MLAs may be compelled to join Jagan, even leading to the government’s fall,” K Nageshwar, a political analyst told HT from Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, the MLAs met Jagan on Saturday. They termed their disqualification as “the beginning of the downfall of the Congress government in AP”.
The disqualified MLA from Telangana, Konda Surekha, said that “the time has come for the people to teach a lesson to the Congress which is seeking to suppress YSR’s family”.
APCC president Botsa Satyanarayana said the Congress is hopeful of winning a majority of the seats where by-elections are scheduled.