‘Recognise YSRCP as principal opposition party in Andhra’: Jagan Mohan Reddy

He mentioned that YSRCP is the sole party in opposition to the ruling coalition of TDP-JSP-BJP.
Former Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan
Former Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan
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YSR Congress Party president and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has urged Assembly Speaker Ayyanna Patrudu to recognise his party as the principal opposition party. In a letter to the Speaker on Tuesday, Jagan Mohan Reddy demanded that he be recognised as the Leader of Opposition. 

He mentioned that YSRCP is the sole party in opposition to the ruling coalition comprising TDP-JSP-BJP.

"There is already a discussion in the public domain to the effect that I would not be entitled to the position of Leader of Opposition (LoP) on the ground that YSRCP does not have 10% of the strength of the August House. It is to be noted that the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly notified under Article 208 of the Constitution of India do not prescribe any such mandatory percentage of seats to be secured by a political party for recognising its leader as Leader of Opposition (LoP),” he said. 

Jagan added that there has not been any convention of insistence of 10% strength on the floor of the August House for the opposition party, in the unified State of Andhra Pradesh to grant such recognition as LOP.

He cited different instances including the instance of P Upendra of TDP being granted the position of LoP in the Lok Sabha in the year 1984 even though TDP only secured 30 out of a total of 543 Seats.

"I am constrained to address this letter in public interest seeking to exercise my right to speak substantially and substantively with due consideration of sufficient time to air the grievances of the people at large. Absent such status and given the hostilities already displayed, my opportunities and duration of time to speak on public issues, would be at the mercy of the ruling combine which has an overwhelming majority and the discretion of the Honourable Speaker, who wishes to see me dead," reads the letter.

The YSRCP leader also enclosed a copy of the video of the Speaker's comment about him.

"It is in the public domain that the Honourable Speaker in a conversation which has since been published on YouTube, alluded to me as a 'person defeated but not yet dead', and that I should be beaten until I die. A copy of the video is enclosed. The gloves are off as regards the hostilities displayed by the ruling combine towards me and imbibed by the Honourable Speaker."

Jagan also drew the attention of the Speaker that during administering oaths to the elected members of the Legislative Assembly, the customary tradition of calling the Leader of Opposition after the Leader of the House was not followed. 

He said this gave an impression that there is already a decision taken not to grant the status of Leader of Opposition to him.

He also pointed out that YSRCP secured a vote share of 40 per cent in the recently concluded elections.  

"I owe a duty to the people of Andhra Pradesh to represent their concerns on the floor of the August House. In view of the open and undisguised hostility exhibited by the leaders of the ruling combine as also by the Honourable Speaker the YSRCP is constrained to evaluate the utility of its participation in the proceedings of the August House if it is treated as a party with eleven MLAs with no status of Leader of Opposition," he added.

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