The election for the post of the Andhra Pradesh assembly speaker on Saturday is an opportunity for the Congress to prove its majority in the face of widespread apprehensions that some of its MLAs have crossed over to Jaganmohan Reddy’s camp.
If its candidate wins the election, the Congress will have also succeeded in stymieing the forward moves of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which is planning a no-trust vote against the government.
Jaganmohan Reddy has said the government led by Kiran Kumar Reddy is at his mercy and he (Jaganmohan) can pull it down at any time.
The election became necessary when the TDP decided to contest for the post after the erstwhile speaker Kiran Kumar Reddy became chief minister.
The TDP has fielded veteran backward caste leader K E Krishnamurthy as its candidate against the Congress` Nadendla Manohar, who is officiating as speaker now.
The Congress issued a whip on Friday asking its 155 MLAs and three associate members to vote for Manohar.
The Praja Rajyam Party (18 members) and Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (seven members), which are supporting the Congress, are expected to issue a similar whip.
The assembly has 294 members.