Speaker at the receiving end

In a scathing attack on Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar, Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday accused him of displaying “unparliamentary, autocratic, partisan and discriminatory” attitude.

In a letter sent to Mr. Manohar, the TDP president hurled a number of allegations against him, one of which was that he was “intruding into internal decision making process” of the main Opposition by suggesting the name of the MLA who should speak on TDP’s behalf in the Assembly.

Similarly, without consulting the TDP, he had chosen the names of the MLAs for appointment to the House Committee to inquire into irregularities in land allocation, though it was the prerogative of the leader of the party, Mr. Naidu noted.

Joining issue with Mr. Naidu, the Congress Legislature Party accused him of casting aspersions on the institution of the Speaker by his “undemocratic” remarks.

Ministers D. Sridhar Babu, Kanna Lakshminarayana, N. Raghuveera Reddy, Anam Ramanaryan Reddy and others said the remarks made against Speaker were “highly unbecoming” of a leader of Mr. Naidu’s experience. They alleged that he was frustrated over the failure of his padayatra in securing public sympathy and was indulging in criticism of democratic institutions.

Sridhar Babu snubbed

In an unusual development, Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu refused to meet Legislative Affairs Minister D. Sridhar Babu when the latter went to his chambers in the Assembly to invite him for a meeting of the floor leaders convened by Speaker Nadendla Manohar.

The Speaker had convened the meeting to resolve the ongoing impasse in the Assembly which could not transact any business, for the third day in succession. Accordingly, the Minister, accompanied by Government Chief Whip Gandra Venkataramana Reddy, went to Mr. Naidu’s chamber to personally invite him for the meeting.

Mr. Sridhar Babu was, however, greeted by TDP whip D. Narendra Kumar outside the chamber. Mr. Narendra told him that Mr. Naidu was busy in a meeting with party leaders and “we will come back once the meeting is over”. A disappointed Mr. Sridhar Babu left the placed and waited for response from the TDP side, but in vain.

Mr. Naidu, according to the TDP MLA, was sore at the way senior Congress leaders like J.C. Diwakar Reddy behaved with him and had decided not to meet the ruling party members who approached him. Asked whether Mr. Naidu refused to meet him, Mr. Sridhar Babu quipped: “It’s both yes and no’’ without elaborating further on the issue.