The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly plunged to a new low on Monday after the agriculture minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy rushed to the opposition benches and got physical with his rivals.
The Minister, who is the younger brother of late Chief Minister Y S Rajaksekhar Reddy and uncle of Jagan Mohan Reddy, was apparently angry with the opposition TDP members for displaying placards reading "YSR Dongala Mutha"(YSR and his gang of Thieves) and raising slogans demanding a joint legislature probe (Andhra Pradesh has a bi-cameral legislature) into the various land scams during the YSR regime.
The TDP has stalled the Assembly proceedings for the past seven days demanding probe into all the land deals of YSR`s six-year rule.
The minister, who was all the while watching the TDP protests silently, suddenly dashed to the TDP side and pushed one TDP MLA C Prabhakar and snatched away the offensive placards from his hands as well as another MLA, G M K Naidu. He also showered choicest abuses on them.
The TDP benches hit back by pushing the minister. At this juncture two MLAs owing allegiance to Jagan rushed to the aid of the minister and got into fisticuffs with TDP members. Thereafter it was free for all for sometime.
TDP legislators alleged that the minister and two Jagan camp MLAs assaulted them. TDP termed the incident a 'black day' for Andhra Pradesh legislature and demanded the sacking of Vivekananda from the cabinet. The TDP also demanded that the officiating speaker release the recorded visuals of the attack on its members and take action against the guilty.
The Chief Minister is expected to make a statement after talking to the minister. He summoned the minister to his chamber for talks.
The Ministers action seems to have gone down well in his native Pulivendula in Kadapa district. "With his action, he has proved that he is true brother of YSR and protector of YSR family legacy. How can he remain silent where there is an orchestrated attempt to defame YSR," said Harish Reddy, one of his followers. "This should help him in the forthcoming by-elections to Pulivendula assembly seat, where he is likely to be Congress candidate " he further added.
Vivenkanda Reddy`s term as MLC ended this month and he needs to get elected to either Assembly or Council in the next six months to retain his job as minister.
The Pulivendula assembly seat fell vacant after Vijayamma, widow of YSR resigned to express solidarity with her son Jagan, who fell out with Congress leadership and quit his Lok Sabha seat. The elections for both the seats are due later this year.