Ministers turn aggressive in Assembly, Botsa chellenges to quit

VIJAYAWADA: Education minister Botsa Satyanarayana and water resources minister Ambati Rambabu turned aggressive in the AP Assembly on Wednesday while responding to charges from the Opposition Telugu Desam members.

Satyanarayana threw a challenge that he would quit the minister post if Telugu Desam proved there was a closure of at least one government school in the state during the term of the present government.

High drama prevailed for some time, with the ruling YSRC rebel MLA Kotamreddy Sridharreddy staging an innovative protest by showing placard and demanding that the government resolve the long-pending issues in his Nellore Rural Assembly constituency.

Finance minister Rajendranath objected to the protest by Sridhar and said there was no scope for raising personal issues in the House. “The government is ready to resolve public issues if Sridhar Reddy gives representations to the ministers or the officials concerned,” he said.

Speaker Tammineni Sitaram objected to the protest and asked Sridhar to submit a representation to him so that he could forward it to the government. He repeatedly asked the legislator to take his seat but in vain. Ministers Rambabu and Ramesh accused Sridhar of deliberately attempting to disturb the House proceedings. Finally, Sridhar was suspended along with the TD MLAs, for his unruly behaviour.

Meanwhile, minister Satyanarayana gave the reply to TD legislators Dola Veeranjaneya, Anagani Satyaprasad, Yeluri Sambasiva and G.B. Chowdary, stating that no government school was closed in AP under the YSRC government’s term.

He said 1,934 students were studying in private schools, as facilitated under the RTE Act, for ‘free and compulsory education.’ TD legislators refuted the claims of the minister and said nearly four lakh students migrated to private schools in the post-Covid period.

The Opposition refused to believe in the minister’s claim. Minister Satyanarayana asked TD MLA Veeranjaneya Swamy to show any school closed in his constituency but Swamy could not cite any instance.

Speaker Sitaram asked Swamy to write a complaint if any school in his segment was forced to close.

Satyanarayana stated that 5,000 government schools were closed during Chandrababu Naidu’s term but CM Jagan renovated state schools. He said he is ready to quit the minister post if the TD proves government schools were closed during the present YSRC government’s term.

TD deputy floor leader K. Atchannaidu, legislators Bendalam Ashok, Velagapudi Ramakrishna and PGVR Naidu raised questions about the progress of irrigation projects in north Andhra. Minister Rambabu explained about the progress of projects with details of works and stated that two projects will be completed by December this year and another one by June 2024.

Atchannaidu alleged that there was no progress to the irrigation projects across the state and the Jagan Mohan Reddy government had neglected irrigation in the past four years.

Minister Rambabu got angry over the member generalising the subject, and not specifying about any one project, and said that as the TD MLAs asked about the north Andhra projects, he gave the related information.

The House witnessed acrimonious scenes due to heated arguments between TD and YSRC legislators and later the Speaker gave a short break to the House to restore normalcy.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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