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Disqualified MLCs Fighting Final Battle

Disqualified MLCs Fighting Final Battle

Three Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLCs who were disqualified from their membership in the legislative council for allegedly defecting to the Congress before the recent assembly elections, are fighting a tough legal battle to retain their seats.

Though they have not got any stay on their disqualification, the three MLCs – Ramulu Naik, Yadava Reddy and Bhupathi Reddy have managed to get the elections to their three seats stalled by the court.

Both the Telangana government and the Election Commission told the High Court that elections to the three MLC seats would not be held for now.

The EC on Thursday issued a notification for the conduct of elections to five MLC seats, falling vacant with the resignation of Konda Murali and completion of term of four others - Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, Mohammad Shabbir Ali, T Santosh Kumar and Mohammed Saleem.

Ramulu Naik argued that he was neither a TRS member nor had he joined the Congress, but was nominated to the council by Governor under social service quota. So, the question of his disqualification under anti-defection law does not arise.

Similarly, Yadava Reddy and Bhupati Reddy also argued that they got elected as MLCs under local bodies’ quota on non-party basis.

Since they were not elected as MLCs on the B-form given by the TRS, they cannot be treated as TRS MLCs and hence, they, too, do not come under anti-defection law.

The counsels of government and EC told Justice Challa Kodanda who was hearing the pleas that they will wait till the final view of the court.

On the other hand, the advocates Salman Khurshid and D Prakash who appeared for Ramulu and Yadava Reddy told the court that their disqualifications were arbitrary.

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Tags: Election Commission High Court MLCs Telangana