The Hyderabad High Court had served a notice on AP Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao seeking reply to the notice on the defections in Andhra Pradesh.
The High Court, while admitting a petition filed by Mangalagiri MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, wanted the AP Assembly speaker to reply on why no action had been taken against the YSR Congress MLAs who defected to the ruling TDP. While 23 MLAs defected, four of them were made Ministers in the TDP government. The YSR Congress had raised objections to these buyouts by the TDP government and had petitioned the Speaker for their disqualification. The Speaker had kept the petitions in abeyance for the past three years.
The TDP had made C Adinarayana Reddy, N Amaranath Reddy, R Sujayakrishna Ranga Rao and Bhuma Akhila Priya as Ministers, while others remain MLAs. Another defected MLA Jaleel Khan was made Waqf Board chairman.
Senior advocate Ponnavolu Sudhakar Reddy argued for the petitioner in the court who said that the Speaker did not act on the complaint given by the YSR Congress on the defections. Though there is an Act to disqualify the MLAs for the defections, the Speaker is not acting on it, the petitioner said.
The Mangalagiri MLA also complained to the Court that the Speaker was officially showing the defectors in the YSR Congress list in the Assembly records though they are with the TDP and have become the Ministers. The latest budget session also showed the defected MLAs as YSR Congress MLAs, the petitioner said.
The court wanted the Speaker to respond in three weeks justifying the reasons for delay in taking action against the defectors in accordance with the Anti-Defection Law.
The State government and the TDP have been silent on the defections for all these years. The TDP which cried foul of defections in Telanagana repeated the same in Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu Naidu, who alleged that the TRS government in Telangana was purchasing MLAs like goats in the market, had indulged in the same act, encouraging defections in the YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh.
It is now to be seen how the Speaker would act on the High Court directions.