Jubilation mixed with desolation at Gandhi Bhavan
It was supposed to be a momentous day for the ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh with formalities related to the merger of Praja Rajyam Party getting completed on Monday.
There was a grand celebration at the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters 'Gandhi Bhavan' to commemorate the occasion with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana and a host of party leaders in attendance to welcome the "star of the day" K Chiranjeevi and his group of members of legislative assembly into their fold.
But, along with the jubilation there was also some desolation in the Congress camp as at least two dozen of its MLAs formally snapped their ties with the party besides quitting their assembly membership.
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Image: Telugu actor turned politician and Praja Rajyam Party chief K Chiranjeevi on August 22 joined the Andhra Pradesh Congress
Cong-led Andhra Pradesh government stable for now
The Congress Legislature Party's balance sheet thus read '17 in' and '24 out' on Monday though it doesn't really pose any threat to the Kiran Kumar Reddy government as it still has 152 MLAs on its side and can also count on seven of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.
The government will not fall by any means, even if the resignations of all the 26 MLAs are accepted.
"So, even if the 26 resignations are accepted, it will only be an advantage for the government as it will have a larger strength than required," a legal expert said.
The same confidence was reflected in Congress leaders' assertion at the Gandhi Bhavan function that none could pull down the party government.
On their part, the Jagan loyalists too maintained that they had no intention to dislodge the Kiran Kumar Reddy government and their resignations were only to protest against tarnishing of late Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's name in the ongoing CBI case against the Kadapa MP.
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Image: K Chiranjeevi was formally inducted into the Congress party by AP Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and party president Botsa Satyanarayana
Assembly speaker yet to accept resignation of 26 MLAs
Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar, who summarily rejected the resignations of 101 MLAs from Telangana last month on the ground that they were submitted in a fit of emotion, is unlikely to take a decision soon on the Jagan-loyal MLAs' resignations.
He is currently on a tour of his Tenali constituency and is expected to return to Hyderabad in two days.
"The speaker will have to deal with the resignations of not only these 26 MLAs but also 15 from Telangana region. Also, he has to dispose of disqualification petitions against 7 MLAs, 6 of whom have tendered their resignations on Monday," sources in the legislature secretariat pointed out.
After submitting their resignations to Legislature Secretary Raja Sadaram, the Jagan-loyal MLAs left for Idupulapaya in Kadapa district to pay homage at the grave of YSR.
They will return to Hyderabad on Tuesday evening to chalk out the next course of action, YSR Congress sources said.
Image: Well-wishers of K Chiranjeevi congratulate him after he was formally inducted into the Andhra Pradesh Congress