Two Congress MLA’s quit, side with Jagan

In a setback to the ruling Congress party in Andhra Pradesh, two legislators loyal to jailed YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy Monday submitted their resignations to the assembly speaker.

Members of legislative assembly Alla Krishna Srinivas alias Nani and Venkata Sujaya Krishna Ranga Rao met Speaker N. Manohar and submitted their resignations.

Both legislators switched loyalties to Jagan last week and announced their resignations from the Congress party.

They told reporters after submitting their resignations that they quit under pressure. They claimed that people were with the family of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

Earlier, the disciplinary committee of the Congress party wanted to issue show cause notices to them for meeting Jagan before his arrest by the CBI in illegal assets case, but Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy prevented the move as he was confident of luring the rebel law-makers back to party.

Nani represents Eluru constituency in West Godavari district and Ranga Rao is legislator from Bobbili in Vijayanagaram.

Two more legislators are likely to quit the Congress party. They last week met Jagan’s mother Y.S. Vijayamma and expressed solidarity with her. With the resignation of the two legislators Monday, the strength of the Congress party in a 294-member assembly will come down to 152, only four more than the magic figure of 148, needed to form the government.

The resignations came at a time when vy-elections are being held to one Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats. The by-polls are caused by the resignations of an MP and 17 legislators loyal to Jagan. The Tirupati assembly seat fell vacant following Chiranjeevi’s election to the Rajya Sabha.

The merger of Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) with the Congress party last year saved the government. The PRP then had 18 MLAs but one of them switched loyalties to Jagan and resigned while Chiranjeevi was elected to the Rajya Sabha.