Seventeen members of the main Opposition, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), were suspended from Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Monday amid pandemonium during a discussion over the bills to develop three state capitals. Speaker Tammineni Seetharam announced the suspension of the TDP legislators after Minister for Legislative Affairs B Rajendranath Reddy moved a motion in this regard.
As the suspended members refused to leave the House, the Speaker called marshals who physically moved them out. The motion to suspend the TDP members was moved on the suggestion of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was irked by repeated interruptions by the Opposition legislators during his reply to the debate.
As the leader of Opposition continued speaking, despite repeated requests by the Speaker, Jagan Mohan Reddy stood up to urge the Speaker to stop him, and then started replying to the debate, triggering protests from the Opposition. Raising slogans of 'Jai Amaravati', the TDP members trooped into the well of the House and surrounded the Speaker's podium after their leader, N Chandrababu Naidu's mike was cut.
After the suspension, Naidu was seen sitting on the stairs of the Assembly, continuing to register his protest. The suspended MLAs staged a sit-in, raising slogans against the Jagan Mohan Reddy government. Naidu and a few other legislators then tried to launch a protest march or â€˜padayatraâ€™ in the Amaravati region, when the police detained Naidu and a few other TDP MLAs.
Naidu condemned the police high-handedness towards TDP leaders and farmers protesting against the government's move. He alleged that the police assaulted Guntur MP Galla Jayadev and filed false cases against party leader D Uma Maheswara Rao. Jayadev was also detained by the police on Monday after he participated in a protest rally.
In spite of the protests from the Opposition, the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, on Monday, passed two Bills to decentralise the state's capital and thereby facilitate the shifting of key capital functions from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.
With this, Andhra Pradesh is one step closer to having three capitals â€” a legislative one in Amaravati, an executive one in Visakhapatnam and a judicial capital in Kurnool.
(With inputs from IANS)