The YSR Congress on Saturday demanded a three-month time-bound disqualification of defecting MPs and MLAs by the presiding officers of the legislatures of the state’s Assembly. The party began its two-day sixth national plenary at Guntur, marking the birth anniversary of late Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on 8 July.
The plenary, which was presided over by YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, passed a resolution on the amendments to the anti-defection law. “Any MP or MLA who leaves the party, on whose symbol he or she was elected, should be disqualified from the House within three months,” said Nellore MP Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy, who moved the political resolution.
YSR Congress had eight Lok Sabha MPs and 67 MLAs from Andhra Pradesh in 2014 when the state went for both Central and Assembly elections. Of them, two Lok Sabha MPs and 21 MLAs subsequently defected to the ruling Telugu Desam Party. Two MPs also defected to the TDP. Rajamohan Reddy criticised the abnormal delay in disposal of petitions seeking disqualification of defecting lawmakers and dismissed the present anti-defection law as toothless. “What is the purpose of an anti-defection law, if the defected members can continue in their posts and even become ministers?” he asked. In Telangana, YSR Congress lost all three MLAs and one MP to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi.