Over two dozen Members of Telangana Legislative Assembly from the Opposition barring the MIM were suspended for rest of the Monsoon session after they persisted in their demand of a firm commitment from the Government on a one-time settlement of the farm loan waiver.
Proceedings of the Assembly on Monday, the fifth working day in the Monsoon session, began on a stormy note with the Congress Member D.K. Aruna getting up and demanding that Government announce a firm deadline, not paying heed to Civil Supplies Minister Jagadheesh Reddy moving the first item on the Question Hour agenda with a query related to the 'Deepam Scheme'.
Even as the Minister began answering the question, the Congress members, followed by those of the Telugu Desam started raising slogans in support of their demand. The slogan-shouting members moved closer to the podium of the Speaker S. Madhusudhanachari and his appeals went in vain, with the Opposition remaining firm.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao got up and pointed out that following the resolution in the Business Advisory Committee, two full days was devoted in the House to discuss issues plaguing the farm sector, with specific concern on farmers' suicides and the loan waiver scheme.
"If you are still not satisfied, there are processes, other options for the Opposition to adopt, rather than insist that they would not allow the House to run. They should remember that the ruling party represents two-thirds of the strength in the House," the Chief Minister said, categorically.
Fourteen minutes into the session, the Speaker asked Minister for Legislative Affairs T. Harish Rao to move a motion suspending 32 Members of the Congress, TDP and the Bharatiya Janata Party for the entire duration of the current Assembly session because they were adamant in disrupting the House. The motion was allowed by the Speaker.
At about 10.17 a.m., the Speaker called for the Marshals because the suspended Members did not move from the well of the House. Amid high drama, all of the suspended Members were evicted from the House. Some of the suspended Members staged a sit-in near the entrance gate demanding justice, while others made a beeline to the Media Point to vent their anguish.
Later, the suspended members trooped out and raising slogans against the Government action. Addressing reporters at Media Point, Opposition members said they would all join hands to corner the Government and ensure that farmers get justice.
Undemocratic action: Jana
Congress Legislature Party leader K. Jana Reddy said never in the history of the State Assembly were Opposition member suspended for standing for the cause of farmers. “Today’s action is undemocratic and clearly shows the dictatorial tendency of the ruling party. We were not allowed to raise the farmers' issue and when we sought specific assurance, the intolerant Government suspended us,” he added.
He made it clear that the party would not appeal to the Speaker to revoke the suspension and added that the Opposition parties were now determined to fight for the cause of farmers till the Government conceded the main demand of one time settlement of farm loan waiver.
Black Day: BJP
BJP floor leader K. Laxman termed the suspension as black day in the annals of State Assembly. TDP senior leader A. Revanth Reddy said that the Opposition parties would now join hands and not hesitate to call for State bandh to pressure the Government to act in favour of farmers.
CPI (M) member Sunnam Rajaiah and YSR Congress member Payam Venkateswarlu said the Opposition parties would go to the farmers directly and launch an agitation against the Government.
Protest in Council
In a related development, the Opposition parties led by Leader of Opposition in Council Md. Ali Shabbir demanded that Government announce one-time settlement. Council Chairman K. Swamy Goud’s plea that the members could raise the issue after the Question Hour went unheeded. Deputy Chief Minister Kadiyam Srihari tried to explain the Government’s commitment towards welfare of farmers but to no avail as the Opposition member continued to raise slogans.