Andhra assembly adjourned amid protest over special status

Hyderabad: The special status issue again rocked the Andhra Pradesh assembly on Saturday as no business could be conducted for the third consecutive day.

The speaker adjourned the house sine die.

The opposition YSR Congress Party continued its protest for the third day over denial of special status to the state by the Centre as per the commitment given at the time of the state's bifurcation.

As soon as the house met for the day, the legislators of lone opposition party were on their feet, demanding immediate debate on the issue. 

The government maintained that the debate could be taken up after a statement by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

The opposition legislators, clad in black and holding placards, surrounded the speaker's chair raising slogan aspecial status Andhra's right.

However, scuffle broke out again as women marshals tried to prevent women legislators of YSRCP from moving closer to the speaker. The protesting MLAs, some of them standing on benches in front of speaker's podium, tore papers and threw pieces at him.

Leader of opposition Y.S.Jaganmohan Reddy lodged his strong protest when his mike was cut as he rose to speak. Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad Rao remarked that the House cannot be run as Jagan likes.

With the opposition continuing its protest, the speaker adjourned the House for 10 minutes. 

After the House re-assembled, there was no let up in the protest.

Amid the pandemonium, Legislative Affairs Minister Y.Ramakrishnudu moved a resolution for referring the issue of unruly behavior of the opposition members to privileges committee of the House for action. The resolution condemned the attack on speaker, marshals and other staff of the assembly. The speaker announced that the resolution was passed by a voice vote.

The minister said that Jaganmohan Reddy should take the responsibility for the incidents which occurred in the house during last three days. 

"I have not seen this sort of conduct by members in my entire political career. If necessary they should be suspended permanently," he said.

As the uproar continued, the speaker adjourned the House sine die. 

Talking to reporters, Jaganmohan Reddy alleged that Chandrababu Naidu bartered the state's interests at the Centre to wriggle himself out of 'cash for votes' case in Telangana as he was caught 'red-handed'.

Tension also prevailed at media point in the assembly premises as TDP members tried to disrupt a media conference by YSRCP members. There was pushing and jostling between the two sides. Police intervened to bring the situation under control.