Scuffle broke out between opposition YSR Congress legislators and marshals inside Andhra Pradesh assembly on Friday morning as the MLAs stormed the Speaker’s podium for the second consecutive day demanding immediate discussion on the special category status issue.
Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao admonished the MLAs and the marshals and adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes as the opposition protest grew noisy.
The YSRC members, wearing black robes, were on their feet as soon as the House met for the day’s proceedings at 9 AM. They demanded that a discussion, through their adjournment motion, be immediately taken up on the issue of the special category status for the state.
Legislative affairs minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said the government on its own agreed to make a statement in the House on the announcement made by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley extending a special financial package to AP.
“The chief minister was ready to make the statement yesterday but you did not allow it. As decided in the Business Advisory Committee meeting, we can have a discussion in the House only after the Chief Minister makes the statement,” Yanamala said.
When YSRC MLA Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy insisted on a discussion without the Chief Minister’s statement, Yanamala shot back saying, “Lotus Pond (Jagan’s residence-cum-YSRC headquarters) rules don’t apply in this House.”
Following this, the YSRC legislators stormed the Speaker’s podium and some of them tried to surround his chair like they did yesterday.
Today, however, the marshals were kept ready in anticipation of the situation and moved in to keep the protesting MLAs at bay.
As the marshals tried to physically prevent them from reaching the Speaker’s chair, the YSRC MLAs jostled with them. In the melee, a couple of MLAs and marshals tripped.
A visibly upset Speaker chided the opposition members saying “you are committing a big mistake”, and asked them to return to their seats.
“Don’t attack the marshals. That is not correct. This is a legislative body, bear in mind and learn how to behave in the House,” Kodela said.
“If you think attacking the marshals is the members’ right, there can’t be nothing more unfortunate. The entire state is watching (your behaviour),” the Speaker told the protesting opposition members.
The high-handed behaviour towards the Speaker’s position was not correct, Kodela said, adding that everyone should respect the Chair.
“Do you support this high-handed behaviour? You are not realising what a big mistake you are committing. If you have decency and wisdom, ask your members to resume their seats,” the Speaker told the YSRC deputy leader.
He also directed the marshals not to touch the MLAs.
“Marshals, please don’t touch the MLAs. You will not touch the members,” Kodela cautioned the marshals.
As there appeared to be no let up in the situation, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes.