Andhra Pradesh Assembly was today adjourned abruptly without transacting any business amidst pandemonium over police firing in Srikakulam district and protests demanding creation of a separate Telangana state.
Interestingly, MLAs from the Telangana region cutting across party lines abstained from the House. This is the ninth consecutive day, the House has been adjourned.
The TDP, CPI, CPI(M) and BJP moved adjournment motions separately on the police firing incident in Srikakulam district in which two people protesting against the setting up of a thermal power plant were killed yesterday.
As soon as the day’s proceedings began, the Opposition parties demanded an immediate statement from Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy on the incident.
Legislative Affairs Minister D Sridhar Babu said the Home Minister would make a statement at 10 am as the copies of the statement, to be circulated to members, were being prepared.
Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu lashed out at the government and accused it of acting in a most irresponsible manner. “Have the police gone to the village for war,” he questioned angrily and demanded that the government do justice to the families of those killed in police firing.
The Opposition members remained firm on their demand and raised slogans condemning the police firing. They also demanded that the government pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of those killed.
At that point, Deputy Speaker Nadendla Manohar adjourned the House for ten minutes but it resumed only after a break of two hours and forty minutes.
As the Deputy Speaker announced that the Home Minister would make a statement on the Srikakulam firing incident, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was on his feet demanding that the government make a statement simultaneously on the ongoing non-cooperation agitation by Telangana employees and the untold hardships being faced by the people.
Five MLAs rushed to the Speaker’s podium demanding that their leader be allowed to speak on record.
As the Deputy Speaker conceded the demand, Mr. Akbaruddin said there was no administration in the State right now.
“Employees in Telangana are on a non-cooperation agitation. Buses and trains are being stopped. Employees are not getting salaries, people are unable to access government services, students are suffering and businesses have collapsed. The State is in freeze. Is this not a serious problem for the State,” he questioned.
Mr. Akbaruddin demanded that the government immediately make a statement on the issue as well.
Labour Minister Danam Nagender pointed out that the government was “equally concerned” over the situation. He sought to blame the Leader of Opposition for not raising the issue in the House.
The TDP MLAs, who were by then on their feet in protest over the firing incident, objected to the minister’s remarks.
Mr. Chandrababu Naidu sought to speak but the MIM MLAs rushed to the Speaker’s podium yet again demanding a statement on the current turmoil in the State.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy intervened to assure the House that the government was ready to discuss any issue.
“There are many problems (facing the State) and from the government side we are trying everything to resolve them.
The Group of Ministers is discussing with the agitating Telangana employees. We will not go back,” Mr. Kiran said.
“We are committed for a debate on all subjects. Let the opposition prioritize the issues for debate and come,” he added.
The Home Minister then started reading out a statement on the Srikakulam firing incident but the MIM members disrupted her. The Deputy Speaker then adjourned the House for the day without the Home Minister making the statement.