VIJAYAWADA: As expected, the ruling YSRC bagged all four Rajya Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh in the biennial election on Friday. With this, the strength of the YSRC in the Rajya Sabha increased to six. YSRC candidates Pilli Subash Chandra Bose (Revenue Minister) Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao (Marketing Minister), industrialists Alla Ayodhya Rami Reddy and Parimal Nat - hwani were declared elected with 38 votes each. The TDP, which had forced the contest despite not having the numbers, lost badly, with its nominee Varla Ramaiah polling 17 votes against its technical strength of 23 in the Assembly.
Soon after polling began at 9 am, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy cast his vote, followed by his party MLAs. In the evening, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu exercised his franchise. In fact, knowing that the party cannot win the seat, the TDP fielded Ramaiah, playing the SC card, to state that the YSRC neglected the community by not giving it any seats. The TDP had issued a whip to MLAs so as to move a disqualification petition if three of its rebel MLAs disobey it.
However, the three MLAs — Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan (Gannavaram), Maddali Giridhar (Guntur West) and Karanam Balaram (Chirala), after spending some time with ruling p a rty MLAs, played it safe by making their votes invalid by putting a tick mark instead of mentioning the priority number on the ballot. While two TDP MLAs did not cast their vote, another party MLA Adireddy Bhavani’s vote was also declared invalid as she put a tick mark instead of mentioning the priority number
Out of 175 MLAs, 173 cast their votes. While all 151 MLAs of the YSRC, including party president and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy participated in the voting, two of the 23 TDP MLAs abstained. While former minister and Tekkali MLA K Atchannaidu, arrested in connection with the alleged ESI scam, was not permitted to attend the voting, another TDP MLA Anagani Satyaprasad abstained from voting as he is under home quarantine. He wrote to party supremo N Chandrababu Naidu saying that as part of his work he recently met TRS MLA Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy, who later tested positive of COVID-19.
“Against this backdrop, I am observing self quarantine and could not attend the voting in accordance with doctors’ suggestions,” Anagani Satyaprasad wrote. Lone Jana Sena MLA Rapaka Varaprasad Rao voted in favour of the YSRC candidates. Later, the newly-elected Rajya Sabha members — Pilli Subash Chandra Bose (Revenue Minister) and Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao (Marketing Minister), industrialists Alla Ayodhya Rami Reddy and Parimal Nathwani — thanked Jagan for reposing faith in them and promised to raise issues pertaining to the State in Parliament as directed by the party.
TDP State president K Kala Venkata Rao described it as a moral victory for the party as TDP members abided by the whip and voted for party candidate Varla Ramaiah. He said they would take action against those who violate the party whip.
BJP SET TO INCREASE TALLY IN UPPER HOUSE
Barring some drama in Manipur and Gujarat, biennial Rajya Sabha elections for 19 seats in 10 states concluded smoothly, with the ruling BJP strengthening its position in the House on Friday
RS election numbers
175 total number of MLAs in the AP Legislative Assembly
173 MLAs cast votes
04 invalid votes
02 MLAs from TDP abstained from voting
01 Jana Sena MLA voted in favour of YSRC