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Andhra CM, Congress leadership in a fix over Jagan loyalists

December 09, 2011 15:20 IST

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is currently visiting New Delhi and he is expected to discuss the disqualification of those legislators who support YSR Congress president Jagan Mohan Reddy with the party top brass there.

Although the official version is that Reddy is in Delhi to wish Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi on her birthday, sources say that he wants to discuss this long-pending issue with the party leadership.

During the trust vote held in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, 19 Congress legislators openly voted in favour of the no-confidence motion, despite a whip by the party.

Though Reddy had declared then that anybody who disobeyed the whip would be disqualified, no such step has been taken even a week later.

In a crucial meeting of Congress leaders in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, opinions of various senior leaders were sought, yet no definite conclusion could be reached.

Most leaders felt that disqualifying these MLAs would mean forcing 19 by-elections in the state and going by the current trend, Jagan would have the advantage. This would severely embarrass the Congress in AP.

The Jagan camp is waiting for a decision from the Congress on this issue. All the rebel MLAs have already submitted their resignations, but neither the Speaker nor the party's high command have accepted any of these resignations.

While the Congress is worried about a poor showing if elections are held now, the party doesn't have the option of not acting against these MLAs as it would set a very bad precedent. During the meeting, many leaders voiced the concern that if these MLAs get away this time, nobody would take party whips seriously again.

According to sources, the Congress leaders would at least receive a reprimand, even if they manage to avoid more serious action.

Jagan has remained silent about this issue though his followers insist that they would win all the seats in case by-polls are held. They claim that their intention is not to topple the government but strengthen the newly-formed YSR Congress from the grass root level .

Vicky Nanjappa