15 TDP MLAs suspended after ruckus hits Andhra House over Naidu arrest
Speaker Tammineni Sitaram also barred two TDP MLAs and ruling YSRCP legislator or the remainder of the five-day monsoon session
Hyderabad: A total of 15 legislators, including 14 from the Telugu Desam Party, were suspended for a day from the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly on Thursday, after Opposition members created ruckus in the House over the arrest of former chief minister and TDP chief N ChandraBabu Naidu in connection with the AP skill development corporation scam.
Assembly speaker Tammineni Sitaram also barred two TDP MLAs — P Kesav [he was also suspended for the day] and A Satya Prasad — and ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) legislator K Sridhar Reddy for the remainder of the five-day monsoon session for allegedly disrespecting the chair. To be sure, Reddy and TSRCP MLA Vundavalli Sridevi [suspended for a day] were suspended from the ruling party for “anti-party activities” a few months ago.
Soon after the House convened on the first day of the monsoon session, opposition legislators started raising slogans demanding the release of TDP chief and seeking a discussion on the matter. They served a notice for an adjournment motion to discuss what they alleged was an illegal arrest of Naidu by the state police without following the due procedure.
The speaker, however, rejected the notice and commenced the question hour. TDP members then rushed into the well of the assembly and stormed the speaker’s podium, holding placards and raising slogans. Before adjourning the House briefly, the speaker urged the opposition MLAs to return to their seats and allow the question hour to continue.
However, there was a heated argument and exchange of words between the YSRCP and TDP legislators. TDP MLA and Naidu’s brother-in-law Nandamuri Balakrishna and state’s irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu also engaged in a heated argument.
The speaker also warned Hindupur MLA Balakrishna, who is also an actor, for “twirling his moustache” and “slapping the thigh” in the House, over “unacceptable” behaviour.
State legislative affairs minister Buggana Rajendranath said the government was ready for a debate on Naidu’s arrest, but the TDP should raise it in the business advisory council meeting.
As the pandemonium continued after the House reconvened, Rajendranath moved a resolution seeking the suspension of the TDP MLAs for their unruly behaviour. He further said that rushing to the speaker’s podium and breaking glass on the table may amount to “criminal action”.
The speaker then announced the suspension of 14 TDP legislators and a YSRCP member for a day, besides barring three MLAs for the remainder of the session.The TDP has 19 MLAs, including party chief Naidu, in the 175-member assembly.
TDP members suspended for a day were: K Atchannaidu, Nandamuri Balakrishna, Bendalam Ashok, Adireddy Bhavani, Gorantla Buchaiah Chowdary, Nimmakayala Chinna Rajappa, Gana Babu, Payyavula Kesav, Gadde Rammohan, Nimmala Rama Naidu, Manthena Rama Raju, Gottipati Ravi Kumar, Eluri Sambasiva Rao and Dola Bala Veeranjaneya Swamy. Besides YSRCP rebel Vundavalli Sridevi was also suspended for a day.
The speaker then adjourned the House for the day.
Following the suspension, TDP legislators sat in protest outside the assembly, saying they would continue to raise their voice against the “illegal” arrest of Naidu, who is currently lodged in a prison in Rajamahendravaram.
The opposition party members also staged a protest in the legislative council, demanding a debate over the TDP chief’s arrest. Amid the protest, the chairman adjourned the House.
Earlier, TDP legislators took out a padyatra [foot march] from Thullur police station to the state legislature before the commencement of the session.