TDP Blocks Tabling of AP’s ‘3 Capital’ Bill in Legislative Council

Amid pandemonium, the opposition TDP on Tuesday, 21 January, blocked in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council the tabling of a Bill, intended to give shape to the state government's plan of having three capitals.

The Bill was passed by the Assembly amid stiff opposition by the TDP and after suspension of 17 of its MLAs from the House for disrupting Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s address on the legislation.

The Council was adjourned five times as the TDP, which is in majority in the 58-member Upper House, opposed the bill passed by the assembly late on Monday night, citing rules. It moved a motion "disapproving the policy of the government" while ministers trooped into the Well asking the Chairman to take up the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020 on a priority.

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The Ministers also raised slogans from the Well as the stalemate continued till the evening with no breakthrough. The bill seeks to pave the way for establishment of executive capital in Visakhapatnam, legislative in Amaravati and judicial capital in Kurnool, a move being strongly opposed by farmers of Amaravati region and the TDP.

However, in an embarrassment to the government, the TDP managed to block its tabling in the Council on Tuesday as it gave a notice under Rule 71 and moved a motion “disapproving the policy of the government.”

Chairman M A 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 take it up.

“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.

Also Read: Andhra May Get 3 Capitals: Should CM Jagan Reddy Rethink Strategy?

‘Go By Rule Book’

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.

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