Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Saturday refused to revoke the week-long suspension of ten Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislators from the state Legislative Assembly till senior MLA A Revanth Reddy tendered an apology.
The legislators belonging to the opposition TDP had been suspended from the Assembly on Thursday for "trying to stall proceedings" after they rushed into the Well of the House demanding that their party be allowed to speak on the budget.
BJP Legislature Party leader K Laxman today raised the issue before the start of the zero hour in the House and appealed to the government to revoke the TDP members' suspension as three days had already passed.
Senior Congress member Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka also supported Laxman, but Legislative Affairs Minister T Harish Rao said the issue could be resolved only when the TDP MLA Revanth apologised to the House.
The BJP and the Congress wanted to know on what grounds the TDP members were suspended from the House for a week.
The Legislative Affairs Minister said Revanth not only tried to "mislead the House" by making false claim about Nizamabad MP K Kavitha, but also spoke against the interests of the state on the power issue.
"Had he withdrawn his remarks or tendered an apology, the issue would have closed, but the TDP tried to stall the proceedings of the House which we did not want to happen. Hence we suspended them," Harish pointed out.
Initially only eight TDP members were suspended, but after the other two, Errabilli Dayakar Rao and Revanth Reddy, also came into the Well of the House, action was taken against them as well, the minister added.
BJP senior legislator G Kishan Reddy said Revanth did not make any adverse remarks against the Nizamabad MP and only referred to media reports about the lapses in the Comprehensive Household Survey.
"Then why are you insisting on an apology?" he
questioned the government.
Caught on the defensive, Harish then said it was not the only issue and the TDP MLAs were suspended because they tried to stall the House.
"We are serious about running the House. For the first time in ten years, the Assembly discussed the budget for 15 hours and 17 minutes," he noted.
Bhatti, who was Deputy Speaker in the previous (united) Assembly, sought to hit back at Harish saying it was only the TRS that did not let the House function in an orderly fashion for 10 years between 2004 and 2014. "You are now talking about the running of the House," Bhatti said.
However, the government did not budge from its stand and rejected the Opposition's plea for revoking the TDP members' suspension.