Members of ruling TDP-BJP alliance and main opposition YSR Congress party nearly came to blows in the Andhra Pradesh state assembly on Tuesday.
The house witnessed tense moments when the legislators of the ruling alliance trooped towards the speaker's podium where the opposition lawmakers were staging protest over repeated interruptions in the speech of their leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
Some legislators rushed menacingly towards each other in the highly-charged atmosphere. An ugly situation was averted when Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu appealed to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members to control their emotions and return to their seats.
The incident occurred during the debate on a resolution which was later passed unanimously urging the central government to accord special status to the state.
Acrimony marred the day-long debate with both Naidu and Jagan, as Jaganmohan Reddy is popularly known, trading allegations. The two leaders were locked in a bitter exchange of words.
There was utter chaos in the house when Jagan, the leader of opposition, read the transcript of Naidu's purported telephonic conversation with Telangana's nominated lawmaker Elvis Stephenson.
The YSR Congress chief said Naidu's name figured 22 times in the charge sheet filed in a Hyderabad court in cash-for-vote scam.
This evoked strong reaction from the treasury benches. TDP member D. Narendra launched a counter attack with the allegation that Jagan colluded with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to tarnish the image of Naidu and to damage the interests of Andhra. Protesting Narendra's remarks, YSRCP members rushed to the speaker's podium.
Naidu remarked that YSRCP leaders have a criminal record and alleged that they are trying to repeat this in the assembly. "It is an occupational hazard to have such a leader of opposition. You have so many charge sheets against you and you are attending court every week. Such a person has no right to talk about me," Naidu told Jagan.
Claiming that his 35-year long political career is clean, the TDP chief said even Jagan's father (Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy) had filed cases against him but failed to prove the allegations.
Earlier, Jagan termed Naidu as "outdated" politician. "The leader of opposition said the chief minister had only 'half knowledge' about the special status."
Jagan challenged Naidu to prove the allegation that he wrote a letter to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to nominate Stephenson to the assembly.