TAMIL NADU

Stamp scam may dominate session

HYDERABAD Sept. 21. The Andhra Pradesh Assembly session beginning tomorrow promises to be a stormy one with Opposition parties, especially the Congress, sharpening their knives to target the Government on a host of issues, including the latest stamp paper scam.

The multi-crore stamp paper scandal, involving the former Minister, C. Krishna Yadav, as one of the accused and the A.P. High Court observations on the continuance of the Housing Minister, P. Rama Subba Reddy, facing a murder charge, in the Cabinet, have pushed the Government on the defensive. The Opposition is expected to go all out to put the Government on the mat on the two issues. The Congress is planning to move an adjournment motion on "criminalisation of politics" with focus on the two issues that had caused accused embarrassment to the Government.

The strategy of the ruling party is to endeavour to turn the tables on the Congress by citing that the stamp paper scandal is not confined to Andhra Pradesh alone and that the Congress Governments in Maharashtra and Karnataka account for a larger share of the blame. As for the demand for the resignation of Mr. Rama Subba Reddy in the light of the court observations, the TDP took the stand that the court has not passed any strictures against the Minister and that it did not amount to an indictment.

The session is expected to last eight days but the Congress would seek to extend it at least by two days. The Assembly has met for 31 days so far this year. Besides the eight-day session now, another session of the House is likely before the end of the year.

The House will adjourn tomorrow after adopting a condolence motion on the demise of the sitting MLA, Syed Sajjad, and immediately the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) would meet to chalk out the agenda for the next seven days.

As for official business, the Government intends to introduce bills seeking replacement of four ordinances. Two of them are cooperative bills while one relates to amendment to the Electricity Act.

The river waters row is also expected to figure prominently during the session. The Government's inability to ensure water to the Krishna delta and the ayacut in other areas led to regional agitations. With no firm commitment from Karnataka on release of water from Alamatti, the problem persists. The Opposition parties are also planning to raise the "inadequate power supply" which added to the woes of the farmers.

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