Amaravati: Speaker of Andhra Pradesh assembly Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, seems to have found himself at the receiving end of Chandrababu Naidu‘s ticket distribution policy in the TDP, it is learnt. His supporters are believed to be upset at the way their leader, who as Speaker backed the TDP even in unconstitutional acts like keeping mum on the action to be taken on defection of 23 YSRCP MLAs into TDP. In fact, when Vice President Venkaiah Naidu was reminded of this fact, following his disqualification of members in Rajya Sabha, he had once clarified that he made his views on this clear to both AP and Telangana. The Vice President of India said that in both states the anti-defection law should be applied.
Kodela is yet to get a clear signal on his assembly ticket. It is learnt that TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu has been coming up with new proposals, adding to the confusion. Kodela represents Sattenapalli constituency in Guntur district.
As the Speaker has been criticised by the YSR Congress Party and other opposition parties for his controversial decisions and has been accused of partisanship. Apart for the criticism he attracted for his biased behaviour in the House, he was also seen prominently in TDP party functions. It is learnt that his own partymen have often referred to the way in which the Speaker ran the Assembly on the directions of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Chandrababu Naidu encouraged the defection of 23 MLAs from YSRCP with enticements. As Speaker of the assembly, Kodela remained unmoved to Opposition parties’ pleas of invoking the anti-defection law against them. YSRCP leaders had in fact submitted evidence to him and sought action against the turncoat MLAs, and yet Kodela, as Speaker of the assembly, did not act. He also ignored clear guidelines spelt out by the Supreme Court and High Court on the subject.
What was even worse on the Speaker’s part was that he assigned seats to them under the ruling TDP. It was pointed out that Chandrababu Naidu feared defeat of these legislators in bye elections if the anti-defection law were to be applied against them, and hence advised the speaker against any action in the matter.
There is widespread criticism against Kodela that as Speaker he did not allow the YSRCP leaders to speak and stifled their voice in the house. Each time the government faced a crisis and the opposition was likely to mount an attack against it in the assembly, the Speaker came to its rescue by making the ruling party members speak. This is one of the common points of criticism against Kodela.
It has therefore come as a shock to him and his supporters that Kodela’s ticket is hanging fire till now. His followers are reportedly saying that they will not tolerate injustice to their leader who was made to function in an unconstitutional manner by Chandrababu Naidu.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the TDP leadership is undecided on whether it should give Kodela an Assembly ticket for Sattenapalli or the Narsaraopeta Lok Sabha seat.