New Andhra assembly begins Wednesday

June 2nd, 2009 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 2 (IANS) The first session of the newly elected Andhra Pradesh assembly will begin Wednesday, with the majority of the 294 members likely to be sworn in on the first day.
Senior legislator of the ruling Congress J.C. Diwakar Reddy will be the pro tem speaker and he will administer the oath to new members. Diwakar Reddy will be administered the oath earlier by Governor N.D. Tiwari at Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor.

However, the Congress party’s move to pick Diwakar Reddy as pro tem speaker has evoked protests from main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Sources in the TDP said the party members could refuse to take oath at the hands of the former minister.

TDP blames Reddy for factional violence targeting its cadres in Anantapur district in the last five years. He was a minister in the previous cabinet of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The first session of the 13th assembly will be a week long.

The nominations for the speaker’s post will be received on the first day of session. The Congress party has already named its legislator, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, for the post. Nadendla Manohar is likely to be elected deputy speaker.

However, the TDP is mulling fielding its candidate for the speaker’s post as Kiran Kumar is a bitter critic of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was the government chief whip in the last assembly, was involved in several verbal duels with TDP legislators both in the assembly and outside.

Minister for legislative affairs K. Rosaiah told reporters that the speaker will be elected June 4. The state governor will address the joint session of the assembly and council the next day.

There will be no sitting June 6 and 7. The house will debate motion of thanks to the governor’s address June 8 and 9. If the debate and Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s reply remains inconclusive, the session may be extended by a day.

Congress has retained power in the state in the latest elections. The party bagged 156 seats in 294-member house while the TDP won 92 seats.

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