YSR Congress seeks President’s intervention for sacking defectors in Andhra cabinet

New Delhi/Vijayawada, (IANS) YSR Congress party President Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on Thursday met President Pranab Mukherjee and urged him to direct the Andhra Pradesh Governor to sack four ministers who were inducted into the state cabinet last week, as they had defected from his party to the ruling TDP.

The Leader of Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh assembly met the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted him a memorandum, seeking his intervention into the matter for what he called “upholding the spirit of our revered constitution”.

Jaganmohan Reddy said Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, instead of working as constitutional firewall, mechanically accepted the advise of the Chief Minister and administered oath to four legislators who incurred disqualification under the Constitution’s Tenth Schedule

Narasimhan had Sunday administered oath to 11 new ministers at Amaravati, the Andhra Pradesh capital. They included N. Amarnath Reddy, C. Adinarayana Reddy, R.S. Krishna Ranga Rao and Bhuma Akhila Priya.

Jagan, as the YSR Congress chief is popularly known. said they were elected to the assembly on YSR Congress ticket, but had, along with 17 other MLAs from the party, defected to Telugu Desam Party (TDP) a year ago.

Jagan, who on April 3 met Narasimhan to seek sacking of the four ministers, told the President that Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu lured YSR Congress MLAs into defection by either offering either cabinet berths or huge money.

He alleged that Naidu had no scruples whatsoever, much less respect for Constitution and democratic spirit. He said Naidu was indulging in unethical and unconstitutional practice of masterminding defections from the lone opposition party in the hope of creating an opposition-free state.

He said that the petitions for disqualification of these MLAs were promptly filed with assembly Speaker but the party’s periodical remainders went in vain.

Jagan pointed out that on the last day of the recently-concluded budget session, the Speaker, while announcing the strength of various parties, showed these four MLAs along with 16 other defected members in the list of 66 members of YSR Congress.

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