Seeking to send a strong signal, Congress on Saturday decided to seek disqualification of 16 party MLAs in Andhra Pradesh who sided with Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and voted against the party government in the Assembly, defying the whip.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was summoned to New Delhi by the High Command, made the announcement after his meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and general secretary in-charge of the state Ghulam Nabi Azad.
"The disqualification of all MLAs who defied the party whip and voted against the government (during the no-confidence motion brought by opposition parties on Monday) will be sought," he told a press conference here.
Sixteen Congress MLAs owing allegiance to YSR Congress chief Jagan voted in favour of the no-confidence motion defying the party whip issued to vote against the motion. Two other MLAs abstained from voting.
"As per the 10th schedule of Constitution, their disqualification will be sought by the Congress Legislature Party. Our party MPs, leaders, cadres and PCC have expressed the same desire. We are going ahead with it (disqualification)," he said.
Kiran Reddy said the CLP would write to the Speaker seeking disqualification of 16 MLAs, while it would ask the two MLAs, who abstained from voting, to explain why they were absent.
The act of the 16 MLAs had highly embarrassed the Congress and the government in Andhra Pradesh and party leaders have been demanding their disqualification.
To a question, he said the PRP will take action against two of its MLAs who voted in favour of the motion as the party is still considered a separate group in the Assembly. PRP merged with Congress earlier this year.