All legislators of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party were suspended from the Andhra Pradesh assembly for one day on Tuesday for stalling the proceedings of the house over allegations of corruption in the construction of an irrigation project.
Speaker KR Suresh Reddy suspended 25 legislators of the TDP, including leader of opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, for not allowing the house to conduct its regular business.
The TDP members were demanding that the government table the Lok Ayukta report on irregularities in the Yellampalli project in Karimnagar district. They accused the government of suppressing the truth by not tabling the report in the assembly.
The Congress government turned down the demand, leading to strong protests by the main opposition party. The legislators rushed towards the speaker's podium, shouting slogans against the government.
As the repeated appeals by the chair to the legislators to resume their seats did not work, Minister for Legislative Affairs K Rosaiah moved a resolution to suspend all the TDP legislators for one day.
As the suspended members refused to leave the house, the speaker had to summon marshals to bodily lift them out of the house.
The party has 45 members in the 294-member house.
TDP legislators later took out a march from the assembly to the Lok Ayukta's office to lodge their protest.
The state government has taken up a massive programme to complete all irrigation projects in the state at a whopping cost of Rs.500 billion.
The TDP alleged that the government was involved in corruption in these projects by favouring contractors close to the ruling party. The government, however, denied the allegations.
The opposition party has alleged that public money to a tune of Rs 3.52 billion was swindled in the finalisation of the tenders for the Yellampalli project alone and sought action against those involved as per Lok Ayukta's recommendations.
This is the fourth time during the current budget session of the legislature that TDP members have been suspended from the assembly.