Andhra Pradesh

As lawmakers defy party line, Naidu and Pawan helpless

It is a coincidence that two lawmakers – one an MP and the other an MLA – decided to follow their conscience and heart rather than the party line on contentious issues. The MP is Kesineni Srinivas alias Nani of the Telugu Desam and the MLA is Rapaka Varaprasada Rao, the lone legislator of the Jana Sena in the Andhra Pradesh assembly and their defiance has caused ripples in the political theatre of the state. 

Though the TDP decided to vote for the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), Nani abstained from voting when the Speaker of the Lok Sabha called for a division in the House. He did so as he felt CAB discriminated against a section of people. The other two MPs of the TDP – Jaydev Galla and K Rammohan Naidu – voted for the bill. 

Nani knows that Chandrababu Naidu cannot do much about his move given the precarious three-member strength of the TDP in the Lok Sabha. The party has already lost four Rajya Sabha MPs to the BJP. The only solace for Naidu will be that while the grapevine suggested Nani was moving closer to the BJP but his line on CAB would mean he may not do so.

In the Andhra Pradesh assembly, Razole MLA of the Jana Sena, Varaprasada Rao supported the YSRCP government’s decision to convert classes 1-6 from Telugu medium to English medium. This is in sharp contrast to the party line taken by his leader Pawan Kalyan against the move. Pawan has been the sharpest critic of the move. 

In the Assembly, Rao whose constituency is a SC reserved constituency, said, “ It will be the SC students who will largely study in government schools. There is no need to oppose the government’s decision. By studying in English medium schools, people of this region in East Godavari district who go to Gulf countries, will get good opportunities. At the moment, people from the district work as daily labour while those from Kerala have good language skills and get white collar jobs.”

Pawan cannot do much about this as Rao will have no issues in moving to the YSRCP as that will not defy the anti-defection law. 

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