Telangana Congress leaders addressing the press at the Assembly Media Point on Tuesday
Hyderabad: In what appeared to be a form of retributory justice, Telangana Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary on Tuesday expelled two Congress MLAs from the Telangana State Legislative Assembly, holding them responsible for the attack on Legislative Council Chairman K Swamy Goud on Monday, while the Governor was addressing the joint session of both Houses of legislature.
Similarly, 11 members of the Congress, including Leader of the Opposition K Jana Reddy, were suspended for the remaining period of the ongoing budget session of the Assembly. In the legislative Council, six Congress MLCs were suspended till the end of the session by Deputy Chairman Nethi Vidyasagar, after Deputy Chief Minister Kadiyam Srihari moved the motion.
Pandemonium prevailed for some time in the Council, even as the treasury benches echoed the demand that the Congress members leave, citing their ‘Monday mistake’. Even as the Congress members began sloganeering and alleged ‘unnecessary suspension’, they were escorted out by the marshals.
The motion was carried within minutes after the commencement of the session triggering protest from Congress MLCs. The Leader of Opposition, Mohammed Ali Shabbir and other members of the
Congress protested the decision seeking reason for the extreme action.
As soon as the Assembly met in the morning, the Speaker termed the incidents that took place during the Governor's address were unfortunate and said that he was deeply hurt with the behaviour of the Congress members.
He said the presiding officers of several state Assemblies in the country had appreciated the way proceedings of the Telangana Assembly are conducted. However, the incidents that took place on Monday were not acceptable. He condemned the attack on Council Chairman K Swamy Goud.
Following this, Legislative Affairs Minister T Harish Rao moved a motion seeking the expulsion of Congress MLAs Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and S A Sampath Kumar from the membership of the House, for being responsible to the unruly incidents on Monday.
Similarly, in another motion, he sought the suspension of 11 members of the Congress for the remaining period of the budget session. The suspended members were Leader of the Opposition (LoP) K Jana Reddy, senior MLAs N Uttamkumar Reddy, G Chinna Reddy, J Geetha Reddy, D K Aruna, T Jeevan Reddy, Bhatti Vikramarka, Padmavathi, T Rammohan Reddy, D Madhav Reddy and Vamsi Chandra Reddy.
The House adopted both the motions with a voice vote by the majority members and the Speaker declared the expelled and suspended members should leave the House. The LoP rose from his seat to address the Chair but in vain. The Speaker reminded that the motion has been passed and asked them to leave the House. After a few minutes of resistance, they left the House.
After suspensions and expulsions, the Congress lawmakers who felt wounded by the action of the ruling party said they will fight against the decision legally besides taking the issue to the people. Party MLAs Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and SA Sampath, who have been expelled from the House, have begun a 48-hour hunger strike in the evening. The hunger strike would continue till 5 pm on Thursday.
Party’s youth wing, Youth Congress, members staged a protest against the government near Gandhi Bhavan on Tuesday afternoon. The Congress also decided to file a petition in the High Court on Wednesday itself challenging the punishment meted out to the legislators. Senior advocate Jandhyala Shankar would argue for the party in the court.
The Congress has taken strong objection to the action of the government against the two MLAs. It has stated that the government has no power to expel members from the House. Speaking to the media, expelled MLA Komatireddy Venkat Reddy said that they would seek the tabling of the video footage of six cameras in the House in the court. He said he did not want to hit anyone.
He got angry when the marshals manhandled him, and he threw the papers into the Well. He wondered how come the Chairman of the Legislative Council was hit on the eye, when his spectacles remained intact. A bandage was put on the right eye of the Chairman in the morning and on the left eye in the evening on Monday. He said the government was enacting a drama in this issue at the behest of the Chief Minister. Soon after the action of the Assembly, the Congress legislative party met under the chairmanship of K Jana Reddy and discussed the future course of action.
The Congress MLAs pointed out that even in Parliament protests take place and the ruling party at the Centre did not resort to action like the one taken by the Telangana government. Even the Telugu Desam, YSR Congress and Telangana Rashtra Samithi have been lodging protests in Parliament for the past one week. The government has become arrogant and acting in dictatorial manner.The party has also given call to the party workers to hold protests all over the state against the government. It has been decided to burn the effigies of the Chief Minister at mandal headquarters.