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Jagan asks Naidu to quit on Note-for-Vote scam; Rival members push each other in House

The second day of Andhra Pradesh Assembly Monsoon session witnessed unruly scenes with members of the treasury benches and the Opposition almost came to blows with regard to the infamous “cash-for-vote” scam. They pushed each other at the Speaker’s podium and disrupted the proceedings by allegations and counter allegations.

The House turned stormy when Opposition leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy said leader of the House N Chandrababu Naidu has to resign if he fails to prove the allegation that he (Jagan) connived with Telangana minister T Harish Rao on “cash-for-vote” scam. Jagan demanded that the leader of the House should resign as chief minister if the ruling party failed to prove the allegation. “I am also ready to resign if Naidu or his Labour Minister K Atchen Naidu prove allegations of his conspiracy with Harish Rao with regard to cash-for-vote scam”, Jagan said.

Earlier, the YSRCP members staged a protest and resorted to sloganeering against Labour Minister K Atchen Naidu for alleging that the TRS Government had given MLC post to Anglo-Indian Christian leader Stephenson after Jagan closeted with Harish Rao. The Opposition members further upped the ante by storming the podium where the TD members joined to throw each other. Atchen Naidu further charged that he has proof about Jagan and Harish meeting and hatching a conspiracy in a hotel on May 21 against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. Cash-for-vote scam is a mystery and the government would respond seriously, he said.

When the leader of the House also made the same comment that Jagan had connived with Harish Rao, the YSRCP members stood up and disrupted the proceedings leading to adjournment. After 15 minutes, the leader of the House began his statement in the House and moved a resolution seeking Special Category status to the State. When Chandrababu started speaking about the sequence of events till bifurcation of the united State, the Leader of Opposition took objection saying the Chief Minister was telling stories instead of making a statement on the Special Status to the State. “He is speaking and we are hearing. We are not able to understand what he was saying,” he said.

Taking serious exception to Jagan’s interruption, Chandrababu Naidu retorted saying that he knows everything about rules and regulations of the House. But those who were stepping into the House for the first time should take lessons on how to function in the House. “If I give a statement only on the Special Status for the State, there will be no opportunity for any debate. You have to seek clarifications only. Is it okay?, he asked angrily.

The Chief Minister said, “There was need to present everything about the method of division of the State, assurances given by the previous government and the process of implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act. With an intention to ensure a debate on the Special Status issue alone, I am presenting all the facts before the House. There are some rules and conventions to be followed in the House. After my statement, the leader of the Opposition can speak”, he clarified.

An emotional Chandrababu Naidu said he was very serious about the subject of Special Status to the State and the leader of Opposition and members should understand. Naidu also asked the Opposition whether they want a statement or debate on the issue. “The behaviour of the Opposition is not good. The people of the State were in a quandary over the Special Status issue and were eagerly looking towards us. As I am answerable to the people as the Chief Minister, I am presenting all facts before the House. I was Chief Minister for 11 years and made hundreds of thousands of statements in the House. All the members should behave in dignified manner in conformity with the conventions of the House. Nobody should talk recklessly”, he added.

Later, Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao adjourned the House to meet on Wednesday after the House passed a resolution unanimously seeking Special Status to Andhra Pradesh. The resolution was moved by the Chief Minister. (NSS)