While YSRCP is claiming it is a Yatra to highlight people's problems, TDP lawmakers have dubbed it a "Yatra for CM’s seat.”

YSRCP to boycott Andhra Assembly Jagan to launch his statewide Padayatra insteadFacebook/YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
news Politics Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - 17:48

The winter session of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly is set to begin in the second week of November, but cold winds have already started blowing from both sides of the political spectrum. The opposition YSRCP has taken a decision to boycott the winter session, demanding the disqualification of the MLAs who defected from their party to the ruling TDP - including four ministers, namely, Adinarayana Reddy, RV Sujay Krishna Ranga Rao, N Amarnath Reddy and Bhuma Akhila Priya.

YSRCP has been demanding that the legislators be disqualified under Schedule 10 of the Constitution - also known as the anti-defection law. The party has approached the Assembly Speaker and the President of India demanding that they take cognizance of the situation.

With no word on the disqualification, the party led by Jagan Mohan Reddy decided to boycott the winter session - and have meanwhile been preparing for Jagan’s long due 'Praja Sankalpa Padayatra', which is set to take off on November 6. The padayatra aims at covering 13 districts and a distance of 3000 km, in a duration of six months.

The party will highlight the ‘failures of the Chandrababu Naidu government’ and stress on the need for Special Category Status (SCS) for Andhra, which is ultimately aimed at unseating the ruling TDP government.

While YSRCP is claiming it is a Yatra to highlight people's problems, TDP lawmakers have dubbed it a "Yatra for CM’s seat.”

Speaking to TNM, Vijayawada West MLA Jaleel Khan, who defected from YSRCP to TDP in 2016, says, “For Jagan, the CM’s seat is more important than the public’s concerns. That is why he is taking up the yatra during the Assembly session.”

Jaleel Khan also rubbished the opposition's accusations on the state governing. “If he wants to pursue solutions to problems, he can come to the House and ask the government,” he says.

The MLA says he defected to the TDP because he did not get any respect in the YSRCP. “When you’re elected by 2.45 lakh people, you need to do something for them. At YSRCP, we didn’t even get the respect which an MLA ought to get.”

Jaleel further slammed Jagan Reddy for demanding action against defected MLAs including himself. “It was his father, YS Rajasekhar Reddy, who entertained defections - not Chandrababu Naidu. When the PV Narasimha Rao led government was in crisis , it was YSR who brought in MPs from Karnataka,” he alleges.

While calling Jagan’s Yatra ‘pointless’, he says, "I have joined TDP as YSRCP failed as an opposition party. Jagan is dreaming of becoming the CM of the state, which won't happen. Earlier, 21 of us switched to TDP.  Now, 9 more are ready to join."

Leaders of the TDP have called Jagan Mohan Reddy’s decision to boycott Assembly proceedings as ‘anti-people’. Ruling party MLC Dokka Manikya Varaprasad said, “if the politburo of TDP permits, we will approach a court of law and prosecute the YSRCP leadership for this.”

Of course, any political disagreement leads to a war of words. YSRCP leaders for their part have accused the ruling TDP of violating the Constitution.

Speaking to TNM, Gadikota Sreekanth Reddy, senior YSRCP leader and MLA (Rayachoty), says, “We never said we are boycotting the House - we will attend the House if the disqualify those who defected, as per rules.”

“We are hopeful that government will hear our concern and take steps to restore the Constitutional spirit. Then, we will attend the house,” he adds.

Responding to TDP's sharp criticism against Jagan's Yatra, he says, "We have already said that our Yatra is to reach the people and know their problems."

On October 26 Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote a letter to President of India seeking his intervention into the matter of 'encouraged' defections from his party to ruling TDP. In the letter Jagan accused Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu of ‘unethical and unconstitutional practice of masterminding defections.’


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