This Article is From Dec 05, 2011

Congress, TDP, TRS issue whips to legislators

Congress, TDP, TRS issue whips to legislators
Hyderabad: The ruling Congress and the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Sunday issued whips to their legislators on the opposition's no-confidence motion in the assembly.

While Congress directed all its 153 members in the 295-member house to vote against the TDP's no-confidence motion, the main opposition party asked its 86 legislators to back the motion when it comes up for voting Monday. TRS also asked all its 12 MLAs to be present in the house and vote for the motion.

Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) has not yet issued a whip to its lawmakers, keeping the Congress on its toes amid continuing uncertainty over the fate of the no-confidence motion.

PRP chief K. Chiranjeevi Sunday met 17 legislators of his party, who openly voiced unhappiness over being sidelined by the Congress even after the merger.

Since PRP remains a separate block in the assembly pending disposal of a petition in court by a PRP legislator challenging the merger, Chiranjeevi will have to issue a whip to ensure that all the legislators vote against the motion.

Unhappy over the delay in accommodating them in the state cabinet and other posts, the PRP MLAs are mounting pressure for their pound of flesh to bail-out the government.

Chiranjeevi briefed the MLAs about the assurance given by central Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to him last night. However, the meeting could not take a decision on issuing a whip as some leaders wanted that they be allowed to vote according to their conscience.

Meanwhile, YSR Congress party chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy is holding a crucial meeting with Congress legislators loyal to him to take a final decision on his strategy. Twenty-one legislators, who met him Saturday, said they were ready to vote against the government and face by-elections if they were disqualified for violating party whip.


Two other loyalists opposed Jagan's decision to vote against the government and walked out of Saturday's meeting.

As many as 26 Congress rebels had switched loyalties to Jagan in August but some of them have since returned to the party fold.

Congress leaders including ministers met some of Jagan loyalists and handed them the party whip.

The ruling party is confident of defeating the motion with the support of PRP and its ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which has seven members.

PRP has 18 members in assembly but one of them Shoba Nagi Reddy is sailing with Jagan.

As there are seven vacancies in 295-member house (including a nominated member), Congress needs 144 votes to defeat the motion. The ruling party is sure of garnering 157 votes even if 21 rebels vote against it.

The parties which are in support of motion include CPI (4), BJP (2), CPI-M, Lok Satta and YSR Congress one each and one independent.