BRS, AAP boycott President\'s speech ahead of Budget
Hyderabad: As part of a protest against the Centre's policies on a range of issues, including anti-farmer policies, all 16 members of the K. Chandrashekar Rao-led BRS– nine in the Lok Sabha and seven in the Rajya Sabha — along with the three AAP members of the Rajya Sabha boycotted President Droupadi Murmu's customary address on the first day of Parliament's Budget Session on Tuesday.
As Chief Minister Chandrashekar Rao works on stitching an alliance of Opposition parties and seeks to play a big role in national politics, the AAP, headed by Arvind Kejriwal, supported Rao in his call to boycott the speech by the President.
Both parties declared that they were boycotting the President's speech in protest of the failure of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre on all fronts, with the BRS specifically criticising the way states were treated as well as the treatment meted out to Telangana in the allocation of funds and projects. Other Opposition parties were present in the House.
The decision to boycott the address was made at the BRS Parliamentary Party meeting chaired by Chandrashekar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan on January 29. This was the first session for the BRS MPs since the TRS rebranded as BRS last December.
BRS floor leader in the Lok Sabha Nama Nageswara Rao told the media in Delhi that the BRS and the AAP were not against the President and their boycott was a protest against the Centre’s failures on all fronts in the last eight-and-a-half years of the BJP’s rule and failure to honour the promises made to Telangana under the AP Reorganisation Act 2014.
"Both BRS and AAP are not against the President but only want to highlight the NDA government's failures through democratic protest," Nama remarked.
The BJP slammed the BRS and AAP for boycotting the President's address, saying they have “insulted” the dignity attached to the highest constitutional position and the country’s parliamentary democracy.
BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the country’s first tribal President gave her maiden speech in Parliament to mark the start of the Budget session and it was a moment to greet her. "There is a limit to political opposition and opposition parties should maintain certain norms. Some parties, namely BRS and AAP, took our parliamentary democracy to an all-time low by boycotting the President's address," he told reporters in Delhi.