In a surprising turn of events, BJP MLAs in the Telangana Assembly decided to boycott the session on Tuesday following the suspension of 11 Congress MLAs and the expulsion of two others.
Speaking to TNM, BJP MLA G Kishan Reddy said that the BJP boycotted the session as they felt it was undemocratic to suspend the opposition.
“It was undemocratic to suspend the Congress legislators. For a democracy to function, we need an opposition. In a haste, the House has suspended even the Leader of the Opposition, who was not involved in the incident. It is unfortunate. We strongly condemn this. The government should understand that we are not here to sing praises of their governance.”
He said that the Speaker should reconsider the suspension of the Congress members and not set a dangerous precedent.
On Tuesday, Telangana Assembly Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary suspended 11 Congress members and expelled two MLAs.
The Speaker’s decision to expel Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and SA Sampath Kumar and suspend 11 others came after K V Reddy threw headphones at Legislative Council Chairman K Swamy Goud during the Governor’s address to the joint sitting of the legislature on Monday.
Leader of the Opposition K Jana Reddy was one of the members suspended.
TDP MLA R Krishnaiah accused the Leader of the House, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, of stifling the voice of the opposition.
AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin, who was in support of the decision to suspend the Congress members, also asked the Speaker to reconsider the suspension of Jana Reddy.
The expelled Congress MLAs announced that they would go on a 48-hour hunger strike at the Gandhi Bhavan from Tuesday evening.
Congress legislators also accused the Speaker of taking a decision that favoured the TRS.
“It is was an undemocratic decision to remove all the Congress leaders from the House who wanted to question the government and expose its flaws. Our party leaders have decided to go on a two-day hunger strike in protest,” suspended Congress MLA T Jeevan Reddy told TNM.
The Congress leaders who were suspended for the entire budget session are Jana Reddy, Uttam Kumar Reddy, J Geeta Reddy, Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, D K Aruna, Jeevan Reddy, Padmavathi Reddy, Vamshi Chand Reddy, Chinna Reddy, Madhav Reddy and T Ram Mohan Reddy.
Terming the suspension as “unlawful”, an angry Jana Reddy equated the decision to suspend the MLAs with the murder of democracy.
“The government wants to evade questions from the opposition, which is why they decided to suspend us from the House,” Jana Reddy said.
On the first day of the Assembly session, on Monday, during Governor ESL Narasimhan’s inaugural speech, Congress members tried to disrupt the speech by throwing paper and stationery at him. During this melee, Nalgonda MLA Komatireddy Venkat Reddy flung his earphones aiming the Governor, which missed its mark hit the right eye of Swamy Goud.