Opposition legislators go on the rampage in Andhra assembly

February 11th, 2009 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Feb 11 (IANS) There was pandemonium in the Andhra Pradesh assembly here Wednesday as opposition legislators went on the rampage - fighting with marshals and damaging window panes - following their suspension from the house.
Speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy announced the suspension of 55 legislators of TDP, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, CPI and CPI-M for stalling proceedings to press their demand for debate on the alleged financial irregularities in 14 firms owned by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.

Raising slogans against the Congress government and the chief minister, the opposition members vented their ire by throwing around flower pots in the assembly.

The house witnessed scuffles between the legislators and marshals, who bodily lifted the members out of the house after they refused to leave despite being suspended by the speaker for the day.

The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) alleged that its legislator P. Keshav was injured when marshals manhandled him.

Terming the government’s attitude as “undemocratic”, the TDP and three other opposition parties alleged that the ruling Congress party was trying to stifle their voice. They later launched a sit-in protest at Indira Park.

Legislative Affairs Minister K. Rosaiah alleged that the opposition created a scene by not leaving the house despite their suspension. He told reporters that no opposition legislator was injured and that it was a “drama” by the opposition to mislead the people.

As soon as the house met for the day, the opposition parties were on their feet demanding a debate on the allegations against the firms. They argued that the chief minister failed to respond to the allegations during a reply on the debate on Satyam Computer Services fraud on Tuesday.

While initiating the debate on Monday, Naidu had alleged that the companies owned by the chief minister’s son were involved in many violations of rules including foreign direct investment rules.

The speaker turned down the opposition request for the debate and tried to conduct the listed business on the agenda. Holding placards and raising slogans, they rushed to the speaker’s podium. The speaker adjourned the house twice but the opposition did not budge from their stand.

Rosaiah moved the resolution for the suspension of the opposition legislators, including leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu. The speaker announced the suspension of the legislators but they refused to leave the house and remained seated.

The speaker called in marshals to evict the suspended legislators. An argument ensued when marshals moved to bodily lift out the members. The legislators tried to resist marshals and in the scuffle a TDP member allegedly received injuries. As the situation became tense, the speaker stopped the live telecast of the proceedings.

The speaker later condemned the incident and said it was the saddest day of his life. He ordered an inquiry into the incident and said appropriate action would be taken against those found guilty.

“As the presiding officer of the house, I apologise to the people of the state for whatever happened today,” he said.

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