Following an argument between opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu and the Speaker, YSRCP MLAs objected to the ‘attack on Speaker’ and demanded an apology.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy wearing a white shirt, sitting at his desk in front of a mic, Leader of Opposition Chandrababu Naidu also in the same positionFile Photo
news Legislature Wednesday, December 02, 2020 - 08:41

Acrimony between the ruling and the opposition members engulfed the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, even as Speaker Thammineni Seetharam warned the Leader of Opposition Chandrababu Naidu at one stage, asking him to "be careful". For the second day in a row, 14 of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party legislators, barring Naidu, were suspended from the House for a day during a heated debate on construction of houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, who intervened in the debate on affordable housing for the poor, flayed Chandrababu for "telling lies without even blinking." Amid the din, the Assembly passed five crucial Bills, including the one banning online gaming in the state.

From the word go, the ruling YSR Congress and the TDP members hit out at each other on a host of issues and the war of words reached a peak during a discussion on the affordable housing issue.

Chandrababu alleged that the YSRC government was merely affixing its (name) sticker to the houses built by his government earlier. "Bills are not being paid to the houses built and they are also not being handed over to the beneficiaries. You have created a befuddling situation," the opposition leader said.

The Jagan Mohan Reddy government’s claim that they would give away the houses for just Rs 1 each was totally misleading, he alleged.

Rebutting Naidu’s statements, CM Jagan read out his party's election manifesto and claimed the former was telling lies without even blinking. "We promised to waive full loan on houses admeasuring 300 sq ft each. Our manifesto clearly states this..," Jagan said, waving the manifesto copy.

As Naidu tried to counter, he was not allowed to speak and this led to a wordy duel between him and the Speaker.

As Naidutried to speak, the Speaker said:"This is Assembly.When we are here, it's like standing in front of a mirror.We have to be careful." The Speaker added: "There should be give and take. You talk about my behaviour? What are you talking? Be careful. Take care.Are you threatening me? "

The YSRCP MLAs objected to the Leader of Opposition's "attack on Speaker" and demanded that he apologise.

As the TDP legislators were on their feet and raised slogans against the government, Legislative Affairs Minister Buggana Rajendranath asked the Speaker to suspend the opposition members as they were disrupting the proceedings of the House. The minister moved a motion to the effect and it was carried by voice vote.

There was drama even after the suspension as the House Marshals alleged that the TDP members attacked them while being evicted from the House. They complained about it to the Speaker, who said he would look into it.

Chodavaram MLA Karanam Dharmasri asked if Naidu was behaving in such an ‘unruly manner’ because he is out of power. "If you still assume that you are in power, continue to be in that darkness," said Dharmasri. He said that Naidu had said at a press conference on Monday that he behaved so as he was enraged.

Deputy Chief Minister Amjad Basha recollected that YS Jaganmohan Reddy did not behave in this fashion when he was the opposition leader. He alleged that Naidu undermined people from the so-called lower castes and did not like Thammineni Seetharam assuming the post of Assembly Speaker. Basha said that he did not expect this kind of behaviour from Naidu as many people like him respect his vast political experience.

Meanwhile, Speaker Seetharam said he would not seek any apology from Naidu and leave it to his better judgement.

With inputs from PTI and IANS 

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