Political parties from Andhra Pradesh continued their dramatic protests in Parliament for special status for the State on Friday, the last day of the Budget session with five YSRC MPs submitting their resignations to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Later in the day, Lok Sabha MPs of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) sat on a dharna in the Speaker’s chambers and had to be bodily evicted in the evening by marshals.
On Friday morning, the five YSR Congress MPs — Vara Prasad Rao V., Y.V. Subba Reddy, P.V. Midhun Reddy, Y.S. Avinash Reddy and the party floor leader Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy — met Ms. Mahajan in her chambers to submit their resignation letters. Party chief Jagan Reddy had announced in February that his MPs would resign if the special category status was not granted to Andhra Pradesh.
The members also began an indefinite hunger strike at Andhra Bhavan in the capital.
“We do as we say! YSRCP MPs are submitting their resignations today! Challenge N. Chandrababu Naidu to make TDP MPs resign and stand united with the people of AP in their rightful demand of special category status for AP,” YSRCP leader Jagan Mohan Reddy said in a tweet.
Continuing their protests after the Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die, TDP MPs stayed on in the House. At noon, the Speaker summoned them to her chambers. However, when the TDP MPs reached her chambers, Ms. Mahajan had already left. The agitated TDP MPs decided to stage a dharna in the Speaker’s chambers.
Through the afternoon, the MPs refused to yield to requests from many senior Lok Sabha officials to leave the chambers. At 5 p.m. the Secretary General of the Lok Sabha Snehlata Srivastava met the protesting lawmakers and again requested them to vacate the room but to no avail.
Following this, at 6:30 p.m., Lok Sabha marshals carried out the members who continued holding placards and shouting slogans. The evicted members then sat on the stairs of Parliament and raised slogans against the BJP government.
On Thursday, the TDP’s Rajya Sabha MPs had refused to leave the chamber even after the House was adjourned for the day around 2.30 p.m. Later they were all marshalled out around 8.15 p.m. During the course of Friday’s protest, Rajahmundry MP Murali Mohan Maganti took ill and was admitted to the in ICU at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital’s critical care unit.
The TDP has maintained that its MPs will not follow the YSR Congress example. Instead, party MPs intent to continue to carry protests within Parliament.