Andhra legislature rocked by massive protests over special status
| Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 16:35
Hyderabad: The monsoon session of the Andhra Pradesh legislature began on a stormy note on Thursday as the opposition YSR Congress Party stalling the proceedings to protest against what it termed a denial of special category status to the state by the Centre.
Both the houses of the Andhra legislature were rocked by massive protests by the opposition party, which demanded the resignation of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
The opposition legislators were on their feet as soon as the house met. They wore black clothes to protest against the Centre's alleged refusal to accord the special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Terming it a betrayal of the people by the ruling Telugu Desam Party and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party, members of the YSRCP surrounded Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad's podium and raised slogans.
They also displayed placards. Amid the pandemonium, they tore papers and threw them towards the Speaker.
The Speaker adjourned the house for 10 minutes but there was no let-up in protests when the proceedings resumed. The TDP and BJP members took strong exception to the behaviour of the opposition members in the house.
Legislative Affairs Minister Y. Ramakrishnudu said the government will make a statement on the issue and the matter could be taken up for debate later on.
Amid the din, Chief Minister Naidu moved the Goods and Services Tax Bill for ratification. He said the YSRCP had no concern for the state.
As the opposition members continued to shout slogans, the Speaker adjourned the house for a second time.
When the house re-assembled, the YSRCP protest continued, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the assembly for the day.
Talking to reporters, YSRCP chief and Leader of Opposition Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy alleged that the central and state governments had "cheated" the people of Andhra Pradesh.
He said the package announce by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Wednesday was disappointing. He criticised Chandrababu Naidu for welcoming the package.
Jagan alleged that the TDP chief had bartered away the state's interests. He demanded that the TDP realise the injustice done to the state and pull out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government.