Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLC and former state minister Dokka Manikya Varaprasad abruptly submitted his resignation on Tuesday to protest the decentralisation of the Andhra Pradesh capital, even as the Bill on the issue was introduced in the Legislative Council.
Varaprasad’s resignation even came as the TDP, which has a majority in the Council, sought to stall two bills that were passed by the Assembly on Monday – the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2020 and another to scrap the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) Act, 2014.
In his resignation letter to the Council Chairman, Varaprasad said, “I’m opposing the division of Amaravati as the state capital. As Amaravati is being decentralised, I have decided not to contest all upcoming elections and I’m resigning as an MLC.”
The TDP holds 28 out of the 58 seats in the House, whereas the YSRCP holds only nine seats. With the help of the BJP, the TDP could stall the legislation or send it back to the Assembly with requests for amendments in the Bill.
Petitions have also been moved with the High Court challenging the state government’s move, which would set up a legislative capital at Amaravati, an executive one at Visakhapatnam and a judicial capital in Kurnool.
The petitions will come up for hearing on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, there was drama in the Legislative Assembly as well, which met again on Tuesday.
At one point, Speaker Tammineni Sitaram threatened to walk out of the Assembly as the TDP members were creating a ruckus and not allowing the proceedings to go on.
Amidst sloganeering, Sitaram stood up to leave, saying, “I am sorry. I am protesting against the attitude of the Telugu Desam Party MLAs.”
After a full day of heated exchanges and a 12-hour discussion, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed both bills late on Monday night. With the YSRCP having a brute majority of 151 in the 175-member Assembly, it managed to pass the Bills with minimal opposition.