Ruling Congress and main Opposition Telugu Desam Party are set to crack the whip on "rebel" MLAs, who voted in favour of the no-confidence motion against the Kiran Kumar Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh late last night.
Of the total 15 rebels, who defied their respective party’s whip and voted in favour of the no-confidence motion, nine were from the Congress and six from the TDP.
"We will seek disqualification of these MLAs for having defied the party line," the Congress and the TDP announced today.
"We will definitely seek disqualification of the nine rebel MLAs who voted against the government. We will petition Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar for disqualification after discussing the issue in the party," Government Whip Dronamraju Srinivas told PTI.
TDP whip Dhulipalla Narendra Kumar also said they would soon file a petition with the Speaker seeking disqualification of six MLAs, who voted for the no-confidence motion and another legislator for having supported the motion when it was moved in the House.
The TDP will also issue a show-cause notice to another rebel MLA S Venugopalachari who stayed away from the proceedings without intimation yesterday.
The Congress government yesterday won a no-confidence motion moved by TRS and supported by YSR Congress and other opposition parties.
Capping a day-long acrimonious debate in the Assembly that went on till small hours of today, the motion was defeated by 84 votes in a head count by division.
The no-confidence motion moved by TRS legislature party leader E Rajender got 58 votes in favour of it and 142 votes against it.
The main opposition TDP remained neutral and the total number of neutral MLAs was 64.
The Congress MLAs who voted in favour of the no-confidence motion were: Sujaya Krishna Ranga Rao, Dwarampudi Chandrasekhar Reddy, Alla Srinivas (Nani), M Rajesh, Perni Venkata Ramaiah (Nani), Jogi Ramesh, B Siva Prasad Reddy, Gottipati Ravi Kumar and Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy.
The rebel TDP legislators include T Sairaj, Taneti Vanitha, Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao (Nani), Praveen Kumar Reddy, Amarnath Reddy and Y Balanagi Reddy.
Harishwar Reddy from the Telangana region supported the motion when it was being considered in the House.
Resignations of Sujaya Krishna Ranga Rao, Alla Srinivas and M Rajesh are pending with the Speaker for many months now.
All the rebels, barring Harishwar Reddy and Peddireddi, have been sailing with the YSR Congress. While Harishwar has joined the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Peddireddi is yet to formally join the YSRC.
Once these parties file the petitions, it will be for the Speaker to conduct disqualification proceedings after issuing notices to the errant members.
If these 16 legislators are indeed disqualified, by-elections become inevitable as there is more than a year’s term left for the current Assembly.
In the last such instance in December 2011, it took over six months to disqualify 16 Congress MLAs as the ruling party dilly-dallied on wielding the axe with the hope of retaining them to save the government.
But now, the Congress sees no such compulsion as the government no more faces a threat of falling.
"We are safe till 2014 as there is no possibility of another floor test for us," a senior minister said.