Twelve rebel Congress members of Legislative Assembly on Monday told Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar that he can go ahead with their disqualification for voting against the Andhra Pradesh government on a no-confidence motion, and later said that they were ready to face by-polls.
The Speaker recently issued notices to these legislators, owing allegiance to YSR Congress president and Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, asking them to respond by December 29.
Accordingly, the MLAs met Manohar in the Assembly and submitted their explanations separately in writing and requested him to disqualify them for violating the Congress whip and voting against the N Kiran Kumar Reddy government in the December 5 no-confidence motion.
"Since we have openly violated the party whip and voted against the government on the no-confidence motion, we requested the Speaker to take action as per law (anti-defection law) without any delay," the MLAs later told reporters.
"We wanted him (Speaker) to act against us immediately so that by-elections can be held simultaneously along with seven other seats (currently vacant). We are ready to face by- polls and go to the people on the farmers' issue," the MLAs said, adding that the Speaker assured them that he would take a decision on the disqualification issue soon.
While 16 Congress MLAs and one of Praja Rajyam Party voted against the government, only 12 MLAs met the Speaker this afternoon. One MLA reached the Assembly late and could not meet the Speaker as the latter left for Tirupati to attend a programme.
"Some other MLAs could not come today as they were preoccupied with other things. But they too will submit their written explanations to the Speaker soon," MLAs Balineni Srinivasa Reddy and Prasada Raju told reporters.
Meanwhile, Konda Surekha, MLA from Parkal in Warangal district of Telangana region, said she urged the Speaker either to accept her resignation or disqualify her.
"I had previously submitted my resignation on the statehood issue. I voted against the government on the no-confidence motion as the Congress failed to come out with a clear stand on Telangana issue," she told mediapersons.
"I may be loyal to Jagan but I resigned from the Assembly on the statehood issue. I voted against the government on the same issue," Surekha maintained.
Incidentally, her resignation was rejected by the Speaker along with other Telangana MLAs while two petitions seeking her disqualification, for acting against Congress and voting against the government, were pending with the Speaker.
Besides Surekha, the MLAs who met the Speaker were Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, Mekapati Chandrasekhar Reddy, Prasada Raju, Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, A Amarnath Reddy, G Babu Rao, Dharmana Krishna Das, Chennakesava Reddy, Gurunatha Reddy, T Balaraju and Sobha Nagi Reddy.