Jagan government’s bills on capital shift hit TDP roadblock in upper House
The opposition Telugu Desam Party, which has 28 members in the 58-member legislative council as against only nine members of the ruling YSRC, stonewalled the passage of the bill by invoking Rule 71 of the legislative proceedings which allows for a debate on disapproving the government billsUpdated: Jan 21, 2020 23:47 IST
In a temporary setback to the YSR Congress party government in Andhra Pradesh led by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, the two crucial bills pertaining to the state capital hit a roadblock in the state legislative council on Tuesday.
The opposition Telugu Desam Party, which has 28 members in the 58-member legislative council as against only nine members of the ruling YSRC, stonewalled the passage of the bill by invoking Rule 71 of the legislative proceedings which allows for a debate on disapproving the government bills.
The state assembly on Monday night passed two bills - one on repealing AP Capital Region Development Authority Act enacted in 2014 to develop Amaravati as the state capital and the second one on creation of three capitals as part of de-centralised administration, after the suspension of 17 TDP members including leader of opposition N Chandrababu Naidu.
On Tuesday, both the bills were referred to the state legislative council for debate and passage. However, the TDP obstructed the attempts of municipal administration minister Botsa Satyanarayana and finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy to introduce the APCRDA repeal bill and de-centralisation of administration bills respectively.
TDP floor leader in the council Yanamala Ramakrishnudu gave a notice to council chairman Mohd Ahmed Sharif seeking to move a motion under Rule 71 of the legislative proceedings seeking a debate to disapprove the bills.
The council chairman, who took the headcount of the members in support of the motion, ruled that the TDP could initiate the debate. This led to pandemonium in the House, as the YSRC members demanded that the discussion on the two bills be taken up first.
The ruling party members, along with 20 cabinet ministers who came to the council to take part in the debate, stormed the podium several times demanding that the chairman allowed the bills to be discussed first. The chairman was forced to adjourn the House five times.
When the House assembled at 6 pm after a break of four hours, the council chairman finally agreed to allow the ministers to introduce the bills but refused to take them up for discussion till the debate over the motion under Rule 71 was completed.
Though the TDP members protested initially for allowing the introduction of the bill, they continued with the debate later. The entire proceedings were held in camera, as the legislature authorities suspended the live telecast of the council proceedings on technical grounds.
At around 10.15 pm, the debate under Rule 71 concluded and voting was held. Out of 49 members who were present in the House, 27 voted in favour of the TDP motion and 13 members against it, while the remaining nine abstained.
The council will take up the discussion on the two bills. Even if it rejects the bills, they could be re-introduced in the state assembly and passed. But if the legislative council refers the bills to the select committee, the plans of Jagan Mohan Reddy government to shift the administrative capital to Visakhapatnam would be delayed by a few weeks, a YSRC leader said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, in a surprising decision, the state government decided to shift the venue of official celebrations of the Republic Day on Saturday from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada.
An official statement said the Republic Day celebrations will be held at Indira Gandhi municipal stadium in Vijayawada, instead of at Rama Krishna Beach Road in Visakhapatnam. The government did not mention any reason for the change of venue.