Alarm bells started ringing in the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh as 17 MLAs belonging to the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party, who recently merged with Congress, virtually raised a banner of revolt on Saturday expressing serious displeasure over the manner in which they were being treated in the party.
The rather unexpected development came on a day when the Assembly took up for discussion the no-confidence motion moved by the main opposition Telugu Desam Party.
At the same time, MLAs owing allegiance to Kadapa MP Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy have conferred with him and decided to abide by ‘whatever decision’ he took on the no-confidence motion.
Jagan had already announced that his YSR Congress would support the no-trust motion against the Congress government. Stunned by the developments in the Chiranjeevi camp, two senior ministers reportedly tried to talk to the actor-turned-politician to "ascertain the facts" and do some damage control.
Tirupati MLA K. Chiranjeevi, who was the founder-president of PRP, acknowledged that his group of MLAs was "totally unhappy" over what had been happening with them.
The MLAs, who are still being treated as the PRP group in the Assembly because of some technical issues, met in their Legislature Party office and gave vent to their serious displeasure over being ‘cold shouldered’ by the Congress.
"It is because of our support that the Kiran Kumar Reddy government is surviving. We have lent it support at a most critical time but now nobody in the government is caring a damn about us," the MLAs reportedly told Chiranjeevi at the meeting.
Chiranjeevi endorsed their views and reportedly said the Congress high command failed to keep any of the promises it gave him at the time of merger.
"It is only because of our support that the government is surviving. But it has left our MLAs totally disillusioned," Chiranjeevi told newsmen after the meeting and left the Assembly premises.
Panic buttons were pressed in the Congress camp as news spread of the PRP legislators’ rebellion.
But they could not do anything immediately as the Assembly was caught in a logjam over the TDP’s no-confidence motion and TRS’ insistence on a resolution seeking a separate state.
However, two senior ministers were asked to take stock of the happenings in the PRP group and do the required damage control, party sources said.
Meanwhile, divergent views were expressed by MLAs supporting Jagan on the course to be followed on the no-confidence motion.
About 21 MLAs and three MLCs attended a meeting on the issue with Jagan at his residence this afternoon.
While some said it would have better for them to have voted against the government during the election of Assembly
Speaker in June, some maintained that they would vote in favour of the government at this juncture. "Rather than supporting the TDP’s no-trust motion, we should wait for the next opportunity and move a similar motion ourselves and try to topple the government," a couple of MLAs reportedly told Jagan.(PTI)