Telangana MLA Disqualified, Replaced By Rival From His Party



Telangana MLA Disqualified, Replaced By Rival From His Party

Vanama Venkateswara Rao was elected on a Congress ticket. (File)


With barely four months remaining in his term, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLA from Telangana’s Kothagudem, Vanama Venkateswara Rao, has been declared disqualified by the High Court. Jalagam Venkat Rao, the runner-up candidate in the 2018 election, has been declared elected in his place.

Vanama Venkateswara Rao, originally elected as a Congress candidate, had later joined the BRS with 12 other MLAs, evading action under the anti-defection law.

The candidate who lost the election to him, ironically also a BRS member (then known as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS), had filed a court case alleging that Venkateswara Rao had not fully disclosed details of property owned by him and his wife in his declaration to the Election Commission.

Justice Radha Rani has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on Venkateswara Rao, though his monthly income of nearly Rs 3 lakh, including allowances, during his tenure as MLA will not be recovered.

In a separate case, the Telangana High Court declined to consider a petition filed by state excise and prohibition minister V Srinivas Goud, in which he requested the court to suspend a petition against him alleging election affidavit tampering in 2018.

In a third case, the Supreme Court also rejected an appeal by BRS MP from Zaheerabad, BB Patil, seeking to strike down a Telangana High Court order allowing a hearing on a petition by Congress candidate Madan Mohan Rao. The petition alleges that Mr Patil violated election rules during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Elections are due in Telangana in or before December to elect 119 members of the state’s Legislative Assembly. The tenure of the assembly is scheduled to end on 16 January 2024.

The BRS, which formed the state government in the previous assembly elections held in December 2018 with K Chandrashekar Rao or KCR becoming the Chief Minister for the second time, faces a stiff challenge this time from the BJP and the Congress.

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