The monsoon session of the Andhra Pradesh legislature began on a stormy note on Thursday as the opposition YSR Congress Party stalling the proceedings to protest against what it termed a denial of special category status to the state by the Centre.
Both the houses of the Andhra legislature were rocked by massive protests by the opposition party, which demanded the resignation of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
The opposition legislators were on their feet as soon as the house met. They wore black clothes to protest against the Centre's alleged refusal to accord the special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Terming it a betrayal of the people by the ruling Telugu Desam Party and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party, members of the YSRCP surrounded Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad's podium and raised slogans.
They also displayed placards. Amid the pandemonium, they tore papers and threw them towards the Speaker.
The Speaker adjourned the house for 10 minutes but there was no let-up in protests when the proceedings resumed. The TDP and BJP members took strong exception to the behaviour of the opposition members in the house.
Legislative Affairs Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu said the government will make a statement on the issue and the matter could be taken up for debate later on.
Amid the din, Chief Minister Naidu moved the Goods and Services Tax Bill for ratification. He said the YSRCP had no concern for the state.
As the opposition members continued to shout slogans, the Speaker adjourned the house for a second time.
When the house re-assembled, the YSRCP protest continued, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the assembly for the day.
Talking to reporters, YSRCP chief and Leader of Opposition Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy alleged that the central and state governments had "cheated" the people of Andhra Pradesh.
He said the package announce by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Wednesday was disappointing. He criticised Chandrababu Naidu for welcoming the package.
Jagan alleged that the TDP chief had bartered away the state's interests. He demanded that the TDP realise the injustice done to the state and pull out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government.
Meanwhile, the three major political parties of Odisha on Thursday entered into a mudslinging contest over the Polavaram project.
In his earlier statement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Centre would bear all expenses for the construction of the Polavaram project.
The Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments are opposing the Polavaram project on Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh citing that many areas of the states would be affected due to the project.
"The statement of Jaitley is like rubbing salt into the wound. When the matter is sub-judice at the Supreme Court, and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sent a notice to the Centre regarding this, the announcement of the Union Finance Minister at this juncture is unfortunate," said BJD spokesperson Samir Dash.
Maintaining that the party would fight tooth and nail against the project, he said it clearly shows the step motherly attitude of the central government.
"It is the duty of the state government to protect the interest of Odisha people. The state government should make its stand clear over the issue. The Congress party has already taken its stand on the project and would fight for the state's interest," Senior Congress leader Bhakta Das said on the Polavaram project issue.
Blaming the then UPA government for the tussle over the Polavaram irrigation project, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said, "The BJP government has not made any new announcement. During the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the UPA government had promised to give national status to the Polavaram project."
Sharma said the state government should make clear what kind of loss it would suffer and tell the same to the people of Odisha as well as to the centre.
The Odisha government had filed a case in the Supreme Court against the project, which is likely to submerge some parts in Malkangiri district.