The opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Tuesday blocked the tabling of the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 in the Legislative Council (LC) citing rules.
The TDP, which is in a majority in the 58-member Council, gave notice under Rule 71 and moved a motion "disapproving the policy of the government", thus blocking the Bill, which was passed by the state legislative Assembly on Monday, from being tabled in the upper legislative house of the state.
The bill allows for the creation of three capitals in the state " Visakhapatnam as executive capital, Kurnool as judicial capital, and Amaravati as legislative capital.
The House was adjourned thrice as pandemonium prevailed over the rule position and ministers trooped into the Well asking the Chairman of the Upper House to take up the Bill on priority.
Chairman MA Sharrif allowed the TDP's motion much to the chagrin of the ruling YSR Congress, which barely has nine members in the Council.
Though almost all Cabinet ministers sat in the Council to thwart the TDP attempts to stall the Bill, they could not convince the Chairman to let the Bill be moved.
"I am giving two hours time for a discussion under Rule 71. We can take up the Bill after that," the Chairman said but the ministers insisted that government business be taken up first.
At one time the ministers spoke in a pleading tone and requested that the Chairman reconsider his decision on the Rule 71 motion.
Senior minister Botsa Satyanarayana asked the Chairman not to use the Council for "political business."
"Don't use your discretionary powers for political gains. Go by the rule book. Don't do politics. Don't get involved in politics. It will be a blot on you," Bosta told the Council Chairman.
Leader of Opposition Yanamala Ramakrishnudu raised a point of order and referred to Rules 139, 140 and 141 of the Council Business.
"The Assembly passed the Bill only last night. You received notice about it this morning. Under Rule 141, two days time can be taken by the Council before the same Bill is moved," Yanamala pointed out.
Legislative Affairs Minister Buggana Rajendranath said taking up the motion under Rule 71 and putting off the Bill would set a bad precedent and have far-reaching consequences.
"The Bill gets precedence and priority. But the opposition is only seeking to obstruct government business," Buggana alleged.
Deputy Chief Minister Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose said, "We are pleading with you to reconsider the decision. This is not government policy, but a Bill." The Opposition leader countered it saying the government brought its policy in the form of a Bill.
"Rule 71 is being invoked for the first time in history. There is gross indiscipline in the Government indiscipline," Yanamala remarked.
Chandrababu Naidu released
Earlier on Monday night, the TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, who was detained outside the state assembly on Monday night for expressing dissent over the passage of 'Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2020', was released a few hours later in Mangalagiri town.
Earlier on Monday night, Naidu sat on stairs outside the state assembly in Amaravati after 17 party MLAs were suspended from the House for the day.
Naidu was detained by the police. He was then being to his residence but was later taken to Mangalagiri police station. The TDP chief was detained as he wanted to go into villages in Amaravati.
The 17 MLAs had created a ruckus while Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was addressing the House. They raised 'Jai Amaravati' slogans.
"Nowhere in the world for one state, there are three capitals. Today is a black day. We wanted to save Amaravati and Andhra Pradesh. Not only me, throughout the state, but people are also fighting and coming on roads. The government is arresting everyone. It's bad for democracy," Naidu told ANI on Monday.
With inputs from agencies