Decentralisation, CRDA repeal Bills referred to select committee

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The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council referred the A.P. Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions and CRDA Repeal Bills to a select committee after a tense standoff between MLCs of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and the Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Wednesday.

Chairman Shariff Mohammed Ahmed conceded to Leader of the Opposition Yanamala Ramakrishnudu’s demand that the Bills be sent to the select committee keeping in view their serious implications, after an acrimonious debate that led to the Council being adjourned for nearly three hours.

Trouble began when Ministers Buggana Rajendranath Reddy (Finance) and Botcha Satyanarayana (Municipal Administration) countered Mr. Ramakrishnudu’s claims that the TDP had fulfilled the precondition of moving the motion for sending the Bills to a select committee on Tuesday itself.

Mr. Rajendranath Reddy alleged that the plea for referring the Bills to a select committee could be conceded only if a motion was moved at the time of taking the Bills into consideration but the rule was not followed. Therefore, the TDP’s request should be rejected, the Finance Minister stated, insisting that the Chairman ascertain the facts of the matter.

However, Mr. Ahmed’s statement that TDP MLC P. Ashok Babu submitted the motion but it was not technically moved infuriated both the ruling and opposition members.

Taking strong objection to it, Leader of the House and Deputy Chief Minister Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose rushed to the podium along with Mr. Satyanarayana and started shouting at the Chairman.

Condemning the actions of the YSRCP members, TDP MLCs Nara Lokesh and T.D. Janardhan said that the Ministers and MLCs of the ruling party cannot exert pressure on the Chairman in such a manner.

Unruly scenes

Pandemonium reigned as members of the TDP and the YSRCP began pushing each other, only to stop short of a scuffle.

Amidst heated discussions, Mr. Ramakrishnudu alleged that the 22 Ministers who came to the Legislative Council should be expelled as they were not members of the Council and had come only to pick up a confrontation with the TDP MLCs.

As tensions flared, TDP president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu accompanied by a few party MLAs entered the VIP gallery and watched the proceedings.

Mr. Naidu’s entry almost led to another scuffle as the marshals asked him and his party members to vacate the gallery. Mr. Naidu refused to leave, stating that as Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, it was within his rights to enter the Council premises and watch the proceedings from the VIP gallery.

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