Two months after resignation, fate of five YSR Cong MPs still hangs in balance
The fate of five YSR Congress MPs from Andhra Pradesh continues to hang in balance two months after they decided to quit the Lok Sabha, with speaker Sumitra Mahajan keeping their resignation letters in abeyance.
The parliamentarians – Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy from Nellore, Y V Subba Reddy from Ongole, V Varaprasada Rao from Tirupati, P Mithun Reddy from Rajampet and Y Avinash Reddy from Kadapa – had put in their papers on April 6. They did so to protest the Centre’s denial of the special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
A party leader said although Mahajan was expected to accept the resignations before leaving on a 10-day trip to Latvia and Belarus on Friday afternoon, it did not happen. “She did not sign the file and there was no official communication from her office in this regard either,” he said. “The resignations will now remain in abeyance until she returns on June 19.”
The MPs met the speaker twice – on May 29 and June 6 – to discuss the matter. The party leader said they were asked to reconsider their decision on both occasions, but they remained firm in their resolve.
In the second meeting, the speaker reportedly asked the parliamentarians to resubmit their resignation letters in confirmation of their decision to relinquish Lok Sabha membership. “So we submitted fresh resignation letters to the speaker, and asked her to accept them immediately,” said Nellore MP Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy.
Reddy said it was for the central government and the election commission to take a call on conducting by-elections to the seats falling vacant on account of their resignation. “We are ready to face elections whenever they are held,” he added.
Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, senior Telugu Desam Party leader and Andhra Pradesh finance minister, pointed out that there was no practice of resubmitting resignation letters in the Indian parliamentary system. “If the resignations are submitted as per the speaker’s format, they would be accepted immediately. This only means that their original resignations were not in the proper format,” he said. “The YSR Congress parliamentarians are only enacting a big drama in the knowledge that there will be no by-elections to the vacant seats with the general elections just around the corner.”