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After UP, AP
Marshal law restores orders in House, 2 TDP MLAs among 8 hurt
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, February 11
The Andhra Pradesh Assembly witnessed a new low today with the suspended opposition members clashing with the marshals, who were summoned to evict them, leading to chaos.

Two TDP MLAs and six marshals were injured in the scuffle as the enraged opposition legislators went on a rampage in the assembly lobby, damaging windowpanes and flowerpots.

The unprecedented scenes broke out after Speaker K R Suresh Reddy ordered suspension of 55 legislators, belonging to the TDP, the TRS, the CPI and the CPM, for obstructing the proceedings.

The opposition members were insisting on their demand for a discussion on the allegations of money laundering in 13 firms promoted by Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy’s son Y S Jaganmohan Reddy.

Even after being suspended, the slogan-shouting opposition members refused to leave the House, prompting the Speaker to summon marshals to evict them.

Raising slogans against the Congress government and the Chief Minister, some of the suspended members rained blows on marshals. In the melee that followed, two TDP MLAs, P Kesav and Narender Reddy, were injured.

The enraged legislators ripped away at least eight microphones from the desks and moved menacingly towards the marshals. Amid heated arguments, the TDP MLA and former Deputy Speaker Harishwar Reddy wielded a microphone to hit a marshal. However, a fellow-legislator K Atchan Naidu restrained him.

The TDP members tore the assembly papers and flung them into the air. As the situation was slipping out of control, a large contingent of marshals was summoned to bodily lift the members.

Full-throated slogans reverberated the assembly corridors as the suspended members resisted their eviction. Later, they held a sit-in before the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the assembly premises and accused the government of trying to “muzzle the voice of the opposition using brute force.” As unruly scenes continued, the Speaker first ordered discontinuation of the live telecast of House proceedings and later adjourned the House for 15 minutes. “This is a very sad day for democracy. On behalf of the House, I apologise to the people of the state,” the Speaker told reporters.

The trouble started as soon as the House assembled for the day with the opposition members insisting on taking up their adjournment motions on the alleged financial irregularities in the companies owned by Chief Minister’s son. After disallowing their adjournment motions, the Speaker adjourned the House twice in quick succession to restore order.

However, the turmoil showed no signs of subsiding with the opposition refusing to budge. Following Speaker’s direction, the Legislative Affairs Minister moved a resolution seeking suspension of the opposition legislators, including leader of opposition N Chandrababu Naidu.

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