Opposition’s fears over my new role ‘unfounded’, says Speaker

Promises to make functioning of Assembly more meaningful and beneficial to people

Says his functioning would serve as an answer to ‘reservations’ of some members

HYDERABAD: Newly-elected Assembly Speaker N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday asserted that he did not belong to any party although he had not resigned from the Congress and assured that he would act impartially.

Replying to felicitations by members, he said the Assembly should hold a mirror to the aspirations of people and promised to make its functioning more meaningful and beneficial to the people. He also said that he would take a leaf out of the good precedents set by his predecessors.

Mr. Reddy sought the guidance of senior members and cooperation of the Leader of Opposition, N.Chandrababu Naidu, and other members. He assured to give more opportunity to newcomers, women and ‘back-benchers’.

Allays TD’s fears

Later addressing the media, he sought to allay apprehensions of the Opposition parties, the Telugu Desam in particular, about his style of functioning, claiming that he would fulfil the responsibilities cast upon him by working above political lines.

New role

“This is a new role given to me and I will work above party lines. I will discharge my duties in an unbiased manner.”

He said the Opposition’s fears over his new role were ‘unfounded’ and recalled that in the previous Government as Chief Whip he tried to ensure coordination between the Speaker and the Chief Minister and Speaker and the Opposition parties besides floor coordination.

“People are directors in a democracy and their verdict will cast us in different roles. If the Opposition thinks that my previous role as Chief Whip will have a reflection on the current role, it is left to them,” he observed, adding that his functioning would serve as an answer to ‘reservations’ expressed by the members.

People’s aspirations

His priority would be to see that the House functioned in line with aspirations of the people. Towards this end, he would dedicate a full day for discussion on the roles of the ruling party, the Opposition and individual members in the forthcoming budget session.

This would be preceded by a workshop wherein suggestions from experts would be elicited on ways to improve the functioning of the House, he said.