Fourteen members of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), including party chief Chandrababu Naidu, were suspended from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for a day as they staged a sit-in in front of the Speaker's podium in the House on the first day of the winter session on Monday.
For the first time, even Chandrababu Naidu sat on the floor near the podium along with his party colleagues, prompting an angry reaction from Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, who said that no leader of opposition had ever behaved like this in the House.
The TDP members were protesting against the ruling YSRCP for not allowing them to speak on important issues, including the relief payment to distressed farmers, who suffered heavily due to floods and cyclones in recent months.
This happened during a short discussion on agriculture in the House after Agriculture Minister Kurasala Kanna Babu made a statement.
TDP leader Nimmala Rama Naidu was allowed to speak later but he faced constant counter-attack from the treasury benches. Reacting to Rama Naidu’s criticism, the Chief Minister lashed out saying the TDP members were resorting to "rowdyism" in the House.
The TDP legislators were speaking without any comprehension of issues, the CM said.
Jagan said the government was determined to distribute input subsidy to affected farmers by the end of December.
Chandrababu Naidu sought to counter the CM but was denied an opportunity to do so.
The YSRCP members prevented the TDP chief from talking, following which the opposition legislators protested in front of the Speaker's podium. Speaker Tammineni Sitaram requested the opposition members to return to their seats but to no avail.
As the din continued, a motion was moved for suspension of the TDP MLAs from the House for a day and the motion was carried by voice vote.
Chandrababu Naidu then led his legislators on a sit-in near the Assembly entrance.