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YSR Congress Disrupts AP Assembly On Third Day

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly session was disrupted for a third day by the YSR Congress Party protesting the refusal of Special Status to the State.
Hyderabad | 10th September 2016
The Andhra Pradesh Assembly session was disrupted for a third consecutive day by the main Opposition party the YSR Congress Party, and adjourned indefinitely.

Soon after the session began, the YSR Congress legislators, clad in black and holding placards, surrounded the Speaker's podium and raised slogans demanding a discussion on the Centre's denial of Special Status for Andhra Pradesh. But the TDP refused to entertain any discussions before the Leader Of The House and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu made a statement.

Several TDP ministers then lashed out at the YSR Congress MLAs saying that they had violated the honour of the House with the ruckus they had created all through the three-day session. The ministers urged Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao to take stern action against the unruly members.

Angered by this, many more agitating YSR Congress legislators moved towards the Speaker. The women marshals had to step in and prevent the female legislators from moving further.

As the bedlam continued with the Opposition refusing to budge, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes. But even after the House resumed 10 minutes later, the protests refused to subside. Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, who had been vocally condemning the behaviour of the YSRCP members in the House since day one of the session, said that he had never witnessed violence and disorder of this level in the State Assembly in his 34 years of career as a legislator.

"They are not allowing the House to pass even condolence resolutions. This is utterly shameful and pathetic. I urge that the Speaker forward CCTV videos of this entire episode to the House Privileges Committee for appropriate action. I have never seen legislators attack the Speaker before, let alone his marshals. Leader Of Opposition Y S Jaganmohan Reddy should take responsibility for this incident," Ramakrishnudu said, and moved a resolution condemning the YSR Congress' attack on the Speaker and the marshals.

MLAs from the BJP including Vishnu Kumar also expressed their dismay at the entire incident, and termed it as "sad" and "atrocious". Kumar, too, urged the Speaker to initiate stern action against the agitating members for physically manhandling the legislative officials.

The Speaker then announced that the minister's resolution was passed through a voice vote. He also agreed with Kumar and Ramakrishnudu.

"I have not seen such terrible conduct in my entire political career. I concur with the view that all the agitators must be suspended permanently for their violent behaviour, except if the House Privileges Committee says otherwise," he said.

Meanwhile, Jaganmohan Reddy argued that the reason he protested today was that the audio of his mike was cut off as he rose to speak. He alleged that this was done intentionally to stop him from raising the Special Status issue.

The Speaker dismissed the allegation and stated that the Assembly would not run on Reddy's whims and wishes. He then adjourned the House sine die as some agitators still continued to shout, ignoring the Speaker's remarks.

Tensions prevailed even outside the Assembly as the TDP members tried to disrupt a media conference by the YSR Congress members. The police had to intervene to bring the situation under control.

Talking to the media, Jaganmohan Reddy cried foul over the adjournment of the session, and alleged that his Party was not being given a chance to speak. He also alleged that Chandrababu Naidu had bartered the State's interests to the Centre to wriggle out of the note-for-vote scam in Telangana as his (Naidu's) involvement was becoming more "apparent".

Although the Assembly session was marred by protests and rancour, the AP CM expressed his happiness over the ratification of the GST Bill and thanked all Parties for their cooperation.

"I congratulate the House on the ratification of the GST Bill. Despite some unfortunate incidents, the Bill was passed without any difficulty. I think this Assembly session is the last one being held in Hyderabad. Now onwards, unless there is an urgency, all future sessions will be held at AP's capital Amaravathi," he said.

The CM recollected his political career in Hyderabad and bid the Assembly complex adieu.
filed in:  Protests, Andhra Pradesh Assembly, Andhra Pradesh Special Status, Assembly Session, TDP, Andhra Pradesh Speaker, Kodela Siva Prasad, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu
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