After shock defeat, YSRCP identifies two MLAs for cross-voting

Amaravati:  After losing one of the seven Legislative Council seats, Andhra Pradesh’s ruling party YSRCP has identified two MLAs who resorted to cross-voting to help the opposition TDP win the seat.

The election was held on Thursday. YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), however, has not named the two MLAs. Party general secretary and government advisor on political affairs, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said they identified two MLAs who voted for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

“We have identified them but will not reveal their names at this stage. Action will be taken against them at an appropriate time,” he said.

Mekapati Chandrasekhar Reddy, MLA from Udaygiri constituency in Nellore district and Undavalli Sridevi, MLA from Tadikonda in Guntur district, are suspected to have voted for the TDP candidate.

Sridevi denied the reports and claimed that she remains loyal to the party.

Both the MLAs were sulking after Chief Minister and YSRCP president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy reportedly decided not to give them tickets in the Assembly elections scheduled next year.

The YSRCP had directed the MLA from Nellore district to cast his first preference vote for party candidate Jayamangala Venkatraman. The candidate polled 21 first preference votes, one short of the number required for the win. He, however, won on the basis of second preference votes.

Similarly, the MLA from Guntur district was asked to vote for Kola Guruvulu but he apparently voted for the TDP candidate. He lost the election.

In addition to these two MLAs, Anam Ramnarayan Reddy and Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy are believed to have voted for the TDP candidate.

Anam and Kotamreddy, both from Nellore district, had recently raised a banner of revolt against the party. Sajjala said they had not taken them into consideration while working out a strategy to win all seven seats.

TDP’s lone candidate Panchumarthi Anuradha won the seventh seat by securing 23 votes, one more than the required number.

All 175 members of the Assembly cast had their votes on Thursday and the counting was taken up in the evening.

YSRCP’s V.V. Surya Narayana Raju, Pothula Sunitha, Bommi Israel, Chandragiri Yesuratnam and Marri Rajasekhar were elected as they secured 22 votes each. Kola Guruvulu also of YSRCP was declared elected on the basis of second preference votes.

In the 175-member Assembly, YSRCP has 151 members and it was confident of securing votes of four rebel MLAs of TDP and the lone MLA of Jana Sena Party (JSP).

TDP, which had 23 seats in the Assembly, was left with 19 members as four others had switched loyalties to YSRCP.

On TDP’s victory, Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said the it was for TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu to explain how his candidate secured 23 votes. He remarked that Naidu is a champion in luring legislators and that YSRCP can’t compete with him.


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