AP ministers stay away from Assembly proceedings

The Andhra Pradesh government faced an embarrassing situation in the State Assembly as ministers stayed away from the proceedings.

Updated: Mar 21, 2013, 20:04 PM IST

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday faced an embarrassing situation in the State Assembly as ministers stayed away from the proceedings, forcing Deputy Speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka to direct Chief Whip Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy to call the ministers in.

Even Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy was confined to his chamber in the Assembly when the Deputy Speaker raised the issue during a debate on motion of thanks to the Governor`s address.

Only three ministers were present in the House at the time and all the front benches on the treasury side looked empty.

The Deputy Speaker interrupted Congress member K Kanna Babu`s address and asked the Chief Whip to go and call the ministers inside.

As Gandra rushed out, one more minister entered the House and a few minutes later the Chief Minister and another minister walked in.

While some of the ministers were said to be attending proceedings in the Legislative Council, most others were conspicuous by their absence even in the Assembly lobbies.

Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar ordered the government to conduct an enquiry into the "procedural lapses" in the presentation of agricultural "action plan" along with the Annual Financial Statement on March 18.

The government was caught on the wrong foot as it bungled up the whole issue by initially announcing that it was presenting an "exclusive budget" for agriculture and allied sectors and later changing it into an "action plan" without even obtaining consent of the House.

Lok Satta MLA N Jayaprakash Narayan and Telugu Desam Legislature Party moved separate motions related to breach of privilege over the fiasco. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy maintained that it was
only a "technical error" and asserted that they would face the privilege motions as per the Legislature procedure.

Referring to the issue this morning, the Speaker directed the government to enquire into it and submit a report.

"The government should ensure that such mistakes are not repeated. The dignity of the House should be maintained...Take adequate care in future," Manohar cautioned.

Meanwhile, the House was adjourned twice today as the Opposition members disrupted proceedings on different issues.

The Telugu Desam Party pressed for a discussion on its adjournment motion on the power crisis in the state leading to the first adjournment for an hour.

The House took up Zero Hour after it re-assembled, but this time the BJP and the Left parties joined the TDP in raising the arrest of Telangana protagonists in connection with a road blockade agitation.

They demanded that those arrested should be set free immediately and raised slogans staying in the Well of the House.

The Speaker then adjourned the House for the second time.

Order restored when the House resumed after an hour, enabling a debate on motion of thanks to the Governor`s address.

The debate remained inconclusive when the House was adjourned for the day in the afternoon.