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TDP's no-confidence motion will worsen Andhra's political chaos

December 03, 2011 22:52 IST

The no-confidence motion moved by the opposition Telugu Desam against the N Kiran Kumar Reddy-led Congress government in Andhra Pradesh is by no means of only academic interest.
Though the government is unlikely to fall -- as the numerical strength of the ruling and opposition parties suggest -- the outcome of the division on the motion is likely to have a far reaching impact on the politics of the state.
The no-confidence motion has assumed a lot of significance as a group of Congress legislators -- which supports YRS Congress president Jagan Mohan Reddy -- has started flexing its muscle on the eve of the motion, which will be taken up for debate from Sunday.
A meeting, convened by Jagan to assess his strength among the Congress members of Legislative Assembly, was attended by 22 of them and only one of them openly opposed the idea of supporting TDP's motion against the ruling party.
But Jagan categorically told his supporters that they can't continue to indulge in double talk.

"If you don't vote against the government, then there is no place for you in my scheme of things," sources quoted him as saying at the meeting.

Jagan said that they should support the no confidence motion as it was being moved over the issue of farmers' plight.
After the meeting, Jagan's spokesperson and former minister Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose announced that all the 21 MLAs present in the meeting have decided to vote in support of the no-confidence motion.
The biggest fall-out of any such eventuality would be the disqualification of these MLAs as they will be violating the whip issued by the Congress party to oppose the motion.
Observers say that if the MLAs go ahead with their threat, then the no-confidence motion will cause many more assembly seats to become vacant. The House of 294 already has seven vacancies and it is likely to go up further if voting takes place on the no-confidence motion.

Jagan has assured his MLAs that he will ensure their re-election if they get disqualified by voting against the Congress government.
As far as the present party position in the assembly is concerned, if pro-Jagan MLAs revolt, Congress will be left with roughly 130 MLAs and will be completely dependent on the 17 members of Praja Rajyam Party and seven legislators of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.

The government will have 154 MLAs on its side. As the effective strength of the House is already down to 287 (due to seven vacancies), 144 would be the half-way mark.
But the unhappiness of Praja Rajyam MLAs is bothering the Congress leadership. Though actor Chiranjeevi's party has merged itself with the Congress, all the technical formalities have not yet been completed.

Hence, PRP still has a separate identity in the state assembly and Chiranjeevi will have to issue a whip to his party MLAs.
Queering the pitch for the Congress, Chiranjeevi on Saturday lashed out at the Congress leadership for not giving his party MLAs due importance and respect.

PRP MLAs are so upset with the indifferent attitude of the chief minister that that they have told Chiranjeevi that the party's merger with Congress was a mistake.
Chiranjeevi has convened a meeting of his MLAs on Sunday to discuss the situation and decide his strategy. His party is likely to demand its pound of flesh in exchange of its support to the Reddy government.
Of the other parties, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Communist Party of India and the Bharatiya Janata Party have also announced their decision to support the no-confidence motion.
The debate on no-confidence motion will be taken up on Sunday after the Question Hour and the discussion on the drought situation in the state.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad