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Political slugfest in AP Assembly

Political slugfest in AP Assembly
Highlights

As usual, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly is registering a new low in the conduct of its members. Same kind of scenes repeats in every session. The legislature is a political house. Therefore, one cannot expect the Assembly to function in a political vacuum. The political slugfest between the two major parties obviously gets reflected in the legislative proceedings.

As usual, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly is registering a new low in the conduct of its members. Same kind of scenes repeats in every session. The legislature is a political house. Therefore, one cannot expect the Assembly to function in a political vacuum. The political slugfest between the two major parties obviously gets reflected in the legislative proceedings.

The opposition has no respect for the Chief Minister who is the leader of the house. The ruling party even refuses to recognise the presence of the opposition leader. Even the ministers cannot tolerate opposition leader speaking, leave alone respecting him. The opposition leader fails to emerge out of the political and personal animosity towards the ruling party and its leader. The acrimony in the house is a result of political belligerence between the warring parties.

A notable feature of our parliamentary system in recent years has been the emergence of political pluralism, with considerable increase in the number of political parties and groups represented in the house of the people. The Telangana legislature has representation for many parties while Andhra Pradesh Assembly is vertically divided between the TDP and the YSR Congress Party, both of which refuse to reconcile with each other’s presence.

The TDP continues to be overwhelmed by its sudden change in political fortunes catapulting it to power, whereas YSR Congress is still unable to digest the fact that it lost the people’s mandate. The spirit of democracy is thus laid to rest as political confrontation reaches its zenith. The BJP fails to exercise its political autonomy and consciously chooses to act as TDP–B team in the state legislature.

The present session has a stormy backdrop. The preposterous call money racket obviously rocks the house. But, the political parties would have done great service if a concrete discussion had evolved a policy response.

Instead, the house squandered away the precious time through mutual accusations and mudslinging. Both the parties are culpable. But the attempt of the government to belittle the role of the opposition party was palpable even before the house met for the session. This rubbed salt into the wound leaving the opposition in no mood to relent.

Chandrababu Naidu has come to power on a promise of good governance. Illicit liquor, illegal sand mining and call money scandals have certainly made a dent into his image. The opposition is bound to exploit this. No use if one is intolerant to opposition. The time has come for Naidu to clean his own house.

However, YS Jaganmohan Reddy cannot pretend his party to be an epitome of probity. His party cannot claim to be sacrosanct on all these illicit activities. As the sixth edition of Practice and Procedure of Parliament by M N Kaul and S L Shakdher said, successful parliamentary polity is one that is dynamic and constantly striving to address the manifold issues confronting the people.

Law is a powerful instrument in bringing about transformation in society and polity. A legislature should be a vehicle in social engineering. Unfortunately, the Andhra Pradesh State Legislature has become a prisoner of competitive politics. Political parties cannot be allowed to hold the interests of the people to ransom by turning legislature into a platform for their political one-upmanship.

Editor: Prof K Nageshwar
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