Hyderabad: YSR Congress Party legislator RK Roja was not allowed to attend Andhra Pradesh assembly on Friday even as the state government filed a petition in Hyderabad High Court, challenging the single judge’s interim order, staying her suspension.
A day after the high court granted stay on the assembly proceedings for Roja’s suspension from the house for one year, she came to the assembly but marshals stopped her from entering the house.
Roja said she had a copy of a court order, staying her suspension and the wanted marshals to show if they have any written orders from the speaker not to allow her.
The government’s action triggered strong protest from the lone opposition party, whose legislators staged at sit-in at Mahatma Gandhi statue in the assembly premises.
A delegation of YSR Congress leaders led by party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy later went to Raj Bhavan to meet Governor ESL Narasimhan and complain against the government’s attitude.
The leader of opposition said the government had no respect for judiciary as Roja was not allowed to attend the session, despite the court revoking her suspension.
Terming the government’s action as contempt of court, Jagan, as the leader is popularly known, said they would file contempt of court petition in the high court. He said his party would continue its protest till Roja is allowed to attend the session.
The YSRCP members decided to attend assembly session on Saturday in black dress as a mark of protest over the government’s action in not allowing Roja to attend the session.
The actress-turned-politician, who represents Nagari constituency in Chittoor district, was suspended from the assembly during the winter session for one year for allegedly using “abusive” language against members of ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) including Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
On a petition by Roja, challenging her suspension, Justice Ramalingeswara Rao of High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, had Thursday stayed the operation of the orders of her suspension.
However, the TDP government decided not to implement the order and challenge it before the division bench. It filed a petition on Friday before the division bench, headed by the chief justice. The appeal will come up for hearing on Monday.
In the assembly, Speaker K Sivaprasad Rao announced that the house will debate the court order in Roja’s case. He said the copies of the court order will be circulated to all members and suggested that they go through it. He said the discussion on the issue will be taken up on Monday.
Legislative Affairs Minister Y Ramakrishnudu hailed the speaker’s decision, while Social Welfare Minister Kishore Babu said the speaker has the right to protect the dignity of the house.
He told reporters that there are precedents of speaker suspending members for longer periods, noting Congress legislators were suspended from Haryana assembly for six months while six DMK members were suspended from Tamil Nadu assembly for one year.