Andhra legislators roughed up in assembly (Lead)

February 17th, 2011 - 4:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Feb 17 (IANS) Lok Satta party president Jaipraksh Narayan and ruling Congress party legislator P. Venkat Rao were allegedly manhandled by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislators and activists within the Andhra Pradesh assembly complex Thursday.The incident took place soon after Jaiprakash addressed the media, criticising the disruption of the governor’s address to the joint session of the assembly and the legislative council by opposition parties.

Condemning the behaviour of TRS and other pro-Telangana legislators, the Lok Satta chief termed the disruption as violation of the constitution. He said that if the situation continued like this, then president’s rule should be imposed in the state.

As the former bureaucrat was leaving after addressing the media, TRS legislator Harish Rao took objection to his remarks.

The TRS legislators and their supporters heckled him and Congress legislator Venkat Rao raising slogans of “Jai Telangana”.

TRS legislator K. Tarakarama Rao, son of TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao and others shouted “Telangana traitors khabardar”.

A TRS supporter, identified as driver of a party legislator, hit Jaiprakash on his head even as the police came to his rescue. Venkat Rao was also pushed by some protestors.

Both Jaiprakash and Venkat Rao, who are against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, complained to Deputy Speaker Nadendla Manohar. They were medically examined in the deputy speaker’s chambers.

Manohar later spoke to Hyderabad police commissioner A.K. Khan and formally lodged a complaint.

Pained over the development, the Lok Satta president said he was contemplating resignation from the assembly. Congress legislators were trying to convince him not to take the step.

Jaiprakash had resigned from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the 1990s to launch Lok Satta, a movement for democratic reforms. Before the 2009 elections, he turned it into a political party and was elected from Kukatpally assembly constituency in Hyderabad.

The incident evoked widespread condemnation from legislators across party lines. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Telangana Forum also condemned the attack.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, leader of opposition and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, Praja Rajyam Party chief Chiranjeevi and leaders of other parties said the attack on the legislators was unacceptable.

Legislators from Andhra and Rayalaseema alleged that TRS leader Tarakarama Rao instigated TRS supporters to attack Jaiprakash and Venkat Rao.

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