MP says the five Lok Sabha seats vacated by party members should be filled now

After its principal opponent, the Telugu Desam Party, stole a march over it by moving a no-trust vote against the Modi government on Friday, the YSR Congress Party plans to push for byelections to the five Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh vacated by its MPs.

The party has sought an appointment with the Election Commission on Monday to demand the byelections, though elections to the next Lok Sabha are due in early 2019.

Six months gap

“As per rules, if the remaining period is less than six months for the next polls [Lok Sabha or Assembly], then the bypolls need to be held. Our MPs resigned on April 6. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan took her time accepting the resignations. But to this day, there is more than six months remaining. So we will request the Election Commission to hold the bypolls at the earliest,” Vijay Sai Reddy, Rajya Sabha member of the YSRCP, told The Hindu.

Mr. Reddy said the MPs had resigned to take the issue to the people, and the party was in no mood to delay any longer.

“Our MPs resigned because earlier the Congress government and now the BJP regime betrayed Andhra Pradesh. This was our way of sending a message to the people of the State and the rest of the country,” Mr. Reddy said.

Meeting with Speaker

They will be meeting Ms. Mahajan to seek the disqualification of four of its MPs. Three defected to the TDP and one to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). The party’s petition to disqualify these members have been pending for a year.

The TDP may be winning the optics so far, but the YSRCP is confident that it will win the Assembly elections in the State.

“The difference of votes between us and the TDP was just 5.5 lakh in the last election. The TDP has failed to deliver on its promises and is now seeking to put the entire blame on the BJP government at the Centre. The voters will see through this charade,” Mr. Reddy said.

The YSRCP, often accused by the TDP of hobnobbing with the BJP and following its diktat, has announced that it will be voting against the BJP in the election of the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman.

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