AP assembly session begins, TRS relents after initial protests

Hyderabad: The winter session of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly began here today amid renewed agitation for separate Telangana and the TRS members obstructing the proceedings demanding that the house first take up the Telangana issue.

As TRS MLAs Ravinder Reddy, Vidyasagar and others sought a debate on the issue, Speaker urged them to be seated as the house was to take up condolence motion on the death of former Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.

Senior Congress MLA and former Home Minister K Jana Reddy was also seen persuading the TRS members, who relented subsequently.

Condoling the death of Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister K Rosaiah said development schemes were taken up on an unprecedented scale by the late Chief Minister.

"The Rs 2 rice scheme, Arogya Sri health insurance scheme, 'Jalayagnam' projects (irrigation mission) are a testimony to his commitment to serve the poor," Rosaiah said.

Opposition Leader N Chandrababu Naidu said he and Rajasekhara Reddy started their political careers in the same year and served as ministers in the same Cabinet of T Anjaiah.

The TDP opposed Reddy only on public issues and there was nothing personal in it, he said.

Hailing the leadership qualities of Reddy, Praja Rajyam president Chiranjeevi said he tried to learn from the former Chief Minister.

Speaking on the motion, former minister K Surekha broke down recalling her association with late Rajasekhara Reddy who, she said, stood by her when she faced trying situations in her political career.

Surekha, who quit as minister after persistently demanding for installation of Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy as Chief Minister, said Rajasekhara Reddy's promises to hike the quantity of Rs 2 a kg rice and the duration of free power remains to be implemented yet.

Home Minister P Sabita Reddy also had tears in her eyes recalling how she came to be known as a sister of Rajasekhara Reddy.

Panchayat Raj Minister B Satyanarayana also turned emotional as he talked about late Rajasekhara Reddy.

Legislators of CPI, TRS, Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), Lok Satta and several ministers also spoke on the occasion.