The High Court had sprung a surprise to the AP Telugu Desam Party by snapping a notice to 22 MLAs, including four Ministers in Chandrababu Naidu cabinet who have defected to the TDP from the YSR Congress. The court had asked them to reply in two weeks. The court had also directed the defectors to submit their oath forms when they were elected to the Assembly. The court had also served notices to the principal secretary to the legislative affairs and legislative secretary seeking clarification on why no action was taken against the MLAs who have defected to another party.
In all 23 MLAs from the YSR Congress have defected to the ruling TDP. One of them Bhuma Nagi Reddy died last year and his family member Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy got elected to the Assembly on TDP ticket in the subsequent by-election. Of the 22 now, four MLAs, Sujaya Krishna Ranga Rao, Bhuma Akhila Priya, C Adinarayana Reddy and N Amarnath Reddy, were made Ministers in the TDP Cabinet.
The court took serious objection to the defections and the political acceptance given to them by making the turncoat MLAs as Ministers ignoring the Anti-Defection Law. The court also made serious observations on the defected MLAs for not submitting resignations to the party which had given them the mandate in the last elections.
Caught in the thick of controversies like the special category status (SCS) demand spreading all over and the severing ties with the NDA government at the Centre, the TDP supremo is now in a big trouble to handle this case. He had already given up his plans of fighting the Rajya Sabha elections by fielding a third candidate, which he never did in the past. He dropped the plans making the Rajya Sabha elections unanimous in the State after a long time. Now, caught in the legal dispute over the defections, it is to be seen how Chandrababu Naidu would handle the case and come out safe.
The YSR Congress is equally strong on getting the 22 MLAs disqualified and had been campaigning for the same for the past two years. The party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy is raising the issue at every place during his padayatra, taking the issue to the people, how he is betrayed and how his MLAs were robbed.