HC directs Telangana Speaker to act on disqualification of MLAs
- Telugu Desam Party had sought disqualification of 12 MLAs, who had defected to TRS.
- The High Court has said the TDP rebel group's merger with TRS was not valid.
In a setback to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi's (TRS) strategy to liquidate the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Telangana, the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday passed an interim order asking the Telangana Assembly speaker to act on the complaint filed by the Telugu Desam Party which had sought the disqualification of 12 MLAs who defected to the TRS.
The Court also said the speaker's decision to allow the merger for TDP rebel group with TRS was not valid. The Court directed the Speaker to take action on the disqualification petition in 90 days.
The Court passed this order on a complaint filed by A Revanth Reddy, TDP floor leader in the Telangana Assembly, against the Speaker's decision in March this year ratifying the merger of the T-TDLP and the TRS.
While challenging the Speaker's decision, Reddy urged the Court to issue a proper order to the Speaker to act on his complaint lodged with the Speaker - seeking the disqualification of the members who defected to the TRS.
Reddy, in his petition, argued that the Speaker was not supposed to give a ruling recognising the merger of the T-TDLP with the TRS, when his appeal was pending.
Finding substance in the argument, the High Court said the merger of the T-TDLP with the TRS was not legally valid.
The TDP faced an awkward situation in Telangana when 10 out of 15 of the party MLAs switched sides to the ruling TRS last year.
Later, the then TDLP leader, E Dayakar Rao, who first lodged the disqualification complaint with the Speaker, also defected to the Treasury benches along with colleague T Prakash Goud, taking the number of defectors to 12.
Dayakar Rao, in his capacity as the rebel TDP floor leader of the party, wrote a letter to the Speaker asking him to treat their group as part of the TRS as the TDLP had unanimously decided to merge the party with the ruling party.
Based on this letter, Speaker Madhusudhanachary on March 16, 2016, allowed the merger as the rebel group had more members than two-thirds of the remaining TDP in the Assembly.
The decision was made public by posting a bulletin on the Assembly website in the evening.
Later, TDP suspended Dayakar Rao and appointed Kodangal MLA A Reventh Reddy as floor leader in the House. Reddy took the legal route and filed a petition against the inaction of the Speaker in the High Court.
Reacting to the Court order, petitioner Revanth Reddy came down heavily on Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. He alleged that the CM had been misusing his power to enhance is party's position and was directing the Assembly Speaker to act accordingly.
He requested the speaker to honour the Court order and took a decision as per the provisions of anti-defection law to disqualify the defected to TDP members.