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AP: Three Congress MLAs resign

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
March 23, 2009 21:58 IST
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On the day when the Congress admitted two former legislators of the Telugu Desam party, it also suffered a jolt with two of its sitting MLAs, including a minister quitting Congress.

Angry over the denial of tickets to them the legislator from Kakinada Mutta Gopalakrishna and minister Gollapally Surya Rao announced their resignations from the party. Both the leaders belong to the East Godavari district and there are speculations that they might join Praja Rajyam party of Chiranjeevi which is quiet strong in Godavari belt.

Talking to newsmen Suryanarayana said that he was "punished" as he dared to raise the issue of giving away zilla parishad's money to the tune of Rs 8 crore as subsidy to others by the incharge minister J C Diwakar Reddy.

"It is possible that I have been denied ticket because I dared to question the Chief Minister on the sand scam and raised the issue of categorization", he said.  He protested that the ticket from his constituency was given to an outside.

Mutta Goapalkrishna, who is also the owner of a Telugu daily "Andhra Prabha", said that he had decided to contest the election from Kakinada as an independent candidate. "If I receive any invitation from any other party to join I will consider it", he said.

Earlier in the day, one of the senior most leaders of the Telugu Desam party and former minister Mutyam Reddy from Medak and former legislator from Nizamabad Satish Pawar joined the Congress party.

Mutyam Reddy was with the TDP for the last 24 years and won the assembly elections thrice, quit the party on not getting the ticket as his constituency was given to the TRS under seat adjustment.

Mutyam Reddy and Satish Pawar were welcomed in to the Congress party by the Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, state Congress president D Srinivas and other senior leaders. Mutyam Reddy is likely to be adjusted in one of the constituency of Medak district.

Another senior-most Congress legislator in Andhra Pradesh P Sambasiva Rao also resigned from the party over the denial of ticket. 75 year old leader was also the Vizianagaram district unit president of Congress and was elected to assembly a record ten times. He was seeking a ticket from Vizianagaram Lok Sabha seat but it was allotted to the wife of the state minister of housing Botsa Jhansi.

His son Suryanarayana Raju was given ticket from Nellimarla Assembly seat but he was so angry with the treatment meted out to his father that he has refused to contest the elections.

Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has defended the denial of ticket to 48 sitting MLAs of the party. "About 10 to fifteen could not get the ticket because of the scrapping of their constituencies or change in the reserved status due to the delimitation. Others were denied the ticket because in party's perception their popularity ratings had gone down."

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad