Hyderabad: Having disappeared from the AP Assembly, the Congress is going to meet the same fate in the Legislative Council by March 2017 when all its seven sitting members, including Leader of the Opposition C. Ramachandraiah, will retire.
The Council was revived by the Congress government in 2007 after it was abolished by the Telugu Desam government in 1985. The present ruling party – the TD — which supported abolition of the Council on the pretext that it doesn’t serve any purpose other than as a “rehabilitation centre for rejected politicians”, will now dominate the House as a record 22 vacancies in different categories will be filled in biennial polls in February-March 2017.
The Congress has no chance of returning even one member to the Upper House. It will thus disappear in the House till 2019 general elections. However Ms T. Ratna Bai, who was nominated by the Governor in 2013, owes allegiance to the Congress.
Council Chairman A. Chakrapani, who was nominated by the Governor during the earlier Congress rule, will also retire by May 2017. As Chairman — that too, Governor’s nominee — he did not officially carry the Congress tag.
After the TD came back to power in 2014, there were attempts to move a no-confidence resolution against the Council Chairman to accommodate a TD nominee in the post. But Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was advised against the move by legislative affairs minister Y. Ramakrishundu.
It remains to be seen whether Mr Chakrapani will formally join the Telugu Desam to get nominated again under the Governor’s quota or the ruling party will put a fresh nominee for the Chairman’s post.
Meanwhile, the BJP has decided to stake claim for one seat as part of its political agreement with TD and has named Yadlapati Raghunatha Babu as its nominee for one of the seven Council members who will be elected by legislators.
Of the seven, given the reduced strength of the YSRC MLAs due to largescale defections to the TD, the Opposition party will get two seats and remaining five will be shared by ruling alliance of the TD and the BJP.
Former deputy chairman of the Council Mohammad Jani, Leader of Opposition C. Ramachandraiah (Congress), former Assembly Speaker Kavali Pratibha Bharathi and Council Deputy Chairman S. Satish Kumar Reddy (TD) are prominent among members retiring by the end of March 2017.
There will be eight vacancies from the local bodies quota on May 1, 2017. Three vacancies from graduates’ constituencies and two vacancies from teachers’ constituencies will arise on March 29, 2017. Apart from these, two more vacancies under Governor’s nomination will arise on May 27, 2017.
The YSRC which has five members in the Council now will gain at least three more and become the main Opposition party in the Council. The TD which has 24 members officially (excluding Congress and YSRC members who joined the party), will be getting a few more seats through various categories of elections....