Chandrababu Naidu says Jagan’s threat to abolish upper house a ruse for horse-trading
When the two bills pertaining to the shifting of the capital came before the legislative council, two TDP MLCs stayed away from the house and two others supported the YSRC during the voting on the motion against the bill moved by the TDP.Updated: Jan 24, 2020 23:59 IST
The fear of defections loom large over Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as Andhra Pradesh assembly waits till Monday to debate abolition of the state legislative council after the upper house on Wednesday attempted to put a spanner in Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s project to create three State capitals instead of the existing one in Amaravati by referring two related bills to the select committee.
Several members of the ruling party supported the idea of doing away with the legislative council on Thursday and the chief minister concluded his speech in the assembly by calling the upper house a burden on the government exchequer which was not fulfilling its purpose.
The assembly, however, didn’t pass a resolution recommending the council’s abolition immediately and Jagan said the assembly would continue to discuss the proposal on Monday, making TDP allege a plot to poach its MLCs in the intervening period.
The TDP has 28 members in the 58-member state legislative council as against nine members of the YSRC.
“It was pretty evident that the ruling party was given three days’ time to resort to horse trading. If the YSRC gets enough numbers in the council, there is no need for it to abolish the council,” former assembly speaker and leader of opposition in the legislative council, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu told Hindustan Times.
On Tuesday, when the two bills pertaining to the shifting of the capital came before the legislative council for discussion, two TDP MLCs – D Manikya Vara Prasad and Samanthakamani stayed away from the house and two others – Pothula Sunitha and D Shivanath Reddy supported the YSRC during the voting on the motion against the bill moved by the TDP.
Of these four, Sunitha joined the YSRC in the presence of Jagan at his residence on Thursday evening.
“I have joined the YSRC because Jagan is striving for the development of backward areas. Only a decentralised development will take the State forward,” she reasoned.
Manikya Vara Prasad and Shivanath Reddy, too, are expected to join the ruling party soon.
TDP president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday alleged that the ruling party was luring his party MLCs by threatening to abolish the legislative council.
“They have offered big money, besides posts, positions and other benefits. They even threatened to book our leaders in various cases. But our MLCs have not succumbed to such pressures. I am sure they would remain courageous,” he said.
Naidu appealed to his party MLCs not to panic over the abolition of the council and defect to the ruling party.
“It will not happen immediately, even if the assembly passes a resolution. It will take one to one and a half years. I will take care of your interests. And when we come back to power in the next assembly elections, we can restore the council again and all of you will get posts,” he said.
YSRC chief whip G Srikanth Reddy, however, rubbished TDP’s allegations.
“Chandrababu Naidu had been a brand ambassador for horse-trading since 1984. Even in his last term, he engineered the defection of 23 YSRC lawmakers. It is ridiculous on his part to make allegations against us. We don’t need to resort to such ugly tactics,” he said.