AP tainted ministers: House to debate graft

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Assembly will take up a debate on corruption in the ongoing Budget session as a combined Opposition convinced Speaker Nadendla Manohar on the issue even as the government, caught in a tight spot, grudgingly agreed to it.

The Business Advisory Committee of the Assembly will fix the date on which the debate will be taken up, according to the Speaker.

The Speaker's announcement ended a six-day pandemonium in the Assembly that saw the Opposition literally baying for blood of six ministers who were issued notices by the Supreme Court in a case related to the amassing of illegal wealth by Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy.

Led by the Telugu Desam Party, Opposition parties have stalled the House for six days demanding dismissal of the "tainted ministers" and tabling of files related to 26 controversial Government Orders but the Kiran Kumar Reddy government sought to seek cover under the ongoing CBI investigation into the case.

The Opposition did not give up though and, in fact, the Congress' ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti too echoed the demand for tabling of relevant files in the House for a detailed discussion on the corruption issue. Of course, the MIM and the TRS wanted all allegations of corruption against politicians and officials since 1995 be debated in the Assembly.

The government's stubborn stance that the House could not discuss an issue that was sub judice only hardened the entire Opposition.

The TDP, TRS, MIM, CPI, CPM, BJP and Lok Satta Party came together on the issue, leaving the Congress defenseless. MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, considered a friend of the ruling party, was the most vehement in his attack of the government on Tuesday.

"Andhra Pradesh has turned into a Scam Pradesh...nobody can deny this. Corruption has reached unprecedented heights. Never in the history of the state, six ministers and eight IAS officers were issued notices by the Supreme Court in a corruption-related case," Akbar said.