The Andhra Pradesh Assembly was abruptly adjourned for the day on Wednesday amidst uproar.
The opposition parties obstructed the proceedings demanding the resignation and prosecution of Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy for illegally possessing 618 acres of assigned land in his family’s name.
As soon as the sitting commenced at 8.30 am, opposition members rushed towards the Speaker’s podium raising slogans and displaying placards, after Speaker K R Suresh Reddy disallowed the adjournment motion notices given by Telugu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, and the Left parties.
The land held by Dr Reddy’s family members violated the AP Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973, they argued.
The agitated members demanded that the House take up discussion on the issue immediately as the head of the government was involved in a grave offence under the Land Reforms Act. They raised slogans asking the chief minister to resign on moral grounds and face prosecution for violation of the Land Reforms Act.
The speaker’s repeated pleas to the members to go back to their seats and not to display placards or raise slogans fell on deaf ears. Amidst the furore, the speaker adjourned the House for 30 minutes. He held a meeting with floor leaders to sort out the impasse.
The government agreed to have a discussion on the issue on Friday. However, when the House re-assembled, the opposition members continued to disrupt the proceedings.
“The government has come forward to have a discussion on the issue the day after. What more do you want? Many issues of public importance also have to be discussed. I cannot allow the House to be in a state of pandemonium,” the speaker said.
“I am very sorry. This is totally unfair. In spite of my repeated pleas to the floor leaders, if you cannot cooperate with me, I cannot run the House in this condition. Let the floor leaders meet among themselves and sit together with the government side and come to a conclusion and come back to me and advise me. Only then, I can run the House,” the speaker added.
“People are watching us. What is the impression we are giving? Where is the seriousness? Where are we heading. This is very unfortunate. In spite of my best efforts, if you don’t want to cooperate, there is nothing I can do. Whatever democratic means available with me, I have tried all that and I am exhausted all the options. So, it is left to you,” an exasperated speaker told the agitated members and adjourned the House for the day at around 11.30 am.
By Syed Amin Jafri