Vijayawada: The Telugu Desam-dominated Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution opposing Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s three capitals proposal. After a day-long drama, the Council took up the debate on the contentious issue under Rule 71 and passed a resolution with 27 members from the TD supporting, 13 opposing and nine opting out of voting.
Notably, two TD MLCs, Pothula Sunitha and Sivanath Reddy, switched over sides and voted against the resolution, while another TD member, D. Manikya Varaprasad, resigned from his membership and party, before the vote. Two TD members, Samantha-kamani and Satrucharla Vijayarama Raju abstain-ed from voting on health grounds.
The Council, which had already taken up the three capitals Bill and the APCRDA Repeal Bill for consideration, would resu-me debate on the Bills on Wednesday. However, uncertainty over the fate of the two Bills in the Council and the follow-up action that might be required of the government on relocating the capital, continued to put the ruling party at unease.
The strategy of the TD has been to delay the process in Council and force the government to adjourn both Houses, sine die. In such a scenario, the government would have to take the ordinance route.
“It would be difficult for the Governor to promulgate an ordinance when the respective Bill is still under consideration of the Council. Even if an ordinance was promulgated, it would come under judicial scrutiny,” senior TD leader and party’s leader in the council, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu told Deccan Chronicle.
The ruling YSRC, on the other hand, is working hard to ensure the passage of the Bills in the Council. It partially succeeded in making Council chairman to take up the Bills for consideration before initiating debate under Rule 71. Efforts are on to ensure passage of the Bill.
Earlier in the morning, the Council witnessed pandemonium, with YSRC members trooping into the well of the House and raising slogans, while some even climbed up the podium, causing trouble to chairman M.A. Shariff. The confrontation was over disagreement wherein while the TD members insisted on taking up a debate under Rule 71 (of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in AP Legislative Council) upfront, the YSRC members wanted an upfront acceptance of the two Bills for consideration and for taking up a discussion subsequently.
The TD members served notice expressing their intent to move a motion under Rule 71, disapproving the policies of YSRC government. YSRC members too sought accepting the two Bills passed in the Assembly on Monday for consideration, before taking up discussion, so that they could be passed in the Council also.
The Council session, which began at 10 am, failed to take up any discussion on all three listed subjects in the agenda until late in the evening as both the TD and the YSRC members wanted their subject to be taken up for discussion only at the first instance.
Leader of the House and deputy Chief Minister Pilli Subash Chandra Bose and finance minister B. Rajendranath Reddy and transport minister Botsa Satyanara-yana insisted on the chair to accept government business on priority basis by taking up two bills for consideration, discussion and passage in the Council. However, leader of the Opposi-tion Yanamala Rama-krishunudu demanded a debate first.
With neither of the party yielding, the Council witnessed uproar with members from both sides, joined by members from the Progressive Democratic Front, BJP and some independents raising slogans against each other.
At one point, members from both parties climbed the podium of the Chair. The Council was adjourned four times till late in the evening as the Chair failed to maintain order.
Though Chairman Shariff initially accepted taking up discussion under Rule 71, he later changed it and wanted two Bills to be taken up for debate at first instance. This kicked up trouble, with TD members objecting.
Finally, when the chair allowed TD members to start the discussion, they raised slogans seeking a debate for a long time, with TD MLC Nara Lokesh leading them. Enraged, Mr Rajendranath Reddy slammed TD members for failing to start discussion.
The Chair had a tough time in controlling members from both sides and had to call in marshals to secure the podium from the MLCs of both parties....