Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has referred a petition seeking disqualification of YSR Congress member Kothapalli Geetha from the House to the Committee on Privileges, it was learnt on Tuesday. The committee is required to conduct a preliminary inquiry and submit a report to her.
The petition was submitted to the Speaker by YSR Congress floor leader in Lok Sabha Mekapati Raja Mohan Reddy. He told The Indian Express Tuesday evening that enough evidence was available to conclude that Geetha had voluntarily given up membership of YSR Congress and, therefore, deserved to be disqualified under The Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India and Rule 6 of the Members of Lok Sabha (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1985.
Earlier, the Speaker invoked provisions for disqualification following complaints of defiance of a party whip during voting in the House. However, Somnath Chatterjee, who presided over the Lok Sabha between 2004 and 2009, took cognizance of complaints against members’ anti-party activities outside the House too. And, for deciding on those complaints, he also admitted media reports as evidence in case the members concerned had not rebutted them within a reasonable time-frame.
Reddy said Geetha, MP from reserved seat Araku in Andhra Pradesh, had not been attending meetings of party MPs for a long time and had been regularly spotted at TDP functions.