The YSR Congress said it would not support the Bharatiya Janata Party of the NDA in the election of deputy chairman for the Rajya Sabha. The election is required following the retirement of P J Kurein on July 1, as the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha.
The YSR Congress had supported the BJP in the election of President Ram Nath Kovind and vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu in the past. However, this time, the party had categorically stated that it would not support the BJP as it had denied the special category status to the State.
“In the past, we have supported the BJP and NDA candidates for the President and Vice-President elections anticipating that the BJP would give special category status to Andhra Pradesh. But, the party did not give the special category status and had betrayed the people. It is for this reason, we are not going to support the candidate sponsored by the BJP or its allies in the NDA,” the YSR Congress MP V Vijayasai Reddy told the media persons in Delhi.
This is the first time that the YSR Congress had moved from its decision of supporting the party in power at the Centre in every Parliamentary election, like the Speaker, the President, the Vice-President and so on. The YSR Congress, though not part of the NDA, had been supporting the BJP in every election at that level, though its rival, Telugu Desam Party is part of the NDA. The YSR Congress had to face severe criticism on this count both in the State and at the Centre for its decision.
However, for the first time, the party had changed its stand giving an excuse of the special category status denial to the State. While its move is welcomed in the State, it is of no use for the YSR Congress as the TDP would be playing key role in the Parliament session beginning on July 18. The TDP is planning to hold protests in the Parliament while the YSR Congress members have quit the Lok Sabha.
The YSR Congress has only two members now in Rajya Sabha – Vijayasai Reddy and Vemireddi Prabhakar Reddy, who are expected to hold protests, giving a small edge to the party this time.