Telangana legislators heckle governor, chaos in Andhra assembly

Thursday, February 17, 2011

HYDERABAD - The Andhra Pradesh legislature plunged into unprecedented chaos Thursday, with Telangana legislators heckling Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan as he was addressing a joint session on the first day of the budget session.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) members tried to snatch papers from the governor’s hands and uproot mikes, forcing him to cut short his customary speech.

Legislators of the TRS, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) continually raised slogans of “Governor go back”. Some legislators, mainly from the TRS, tore copies of his speech and threw the pieces at him.

TRS, TDP and other pro-Telangana legislators alleged that the governor was anti-Telangana and hence had no right to address the legislature on the land of Telangana.

The protest coincided with the beginning of a non-cooperation movement in Telangana demanding introduction of a bill in parliament for formation of a separate Telangana state.

Unprecedented scenes were witnessed as the governor, who was visibly upset over the protest, completed his speech in less than 15 minutes and left the assembly. The governor skipped many pages of his 40-page address as his security personnel and marshals of the assembly stood like a wall between him and the legislators.

As soon as the governor began his speech, the Telangana legislators were on their feet protesting lack of mention of the Telangana movement in his address and demanding a resolution in the assembly for formation of Telangana state.

The TRS legislators advanced towards the podium, tore copies of his speech and threw papers at him.

As Narasimhan continued his speech, TRS legislator K. Sammaiah went closer to him, tried to uproot the mike and snatch the papers as the governor’s personal security officer came to his rescue. The assembly staff snapped the live telecast of the governor’s address.

Marshals, who were called in by Deputy Speaker Nandendla Manohar, bodily lifted out TRS, TDP and BJP legislators who had trooped into the well of the house. The chairs of the governor, the deputy speaker and the council chairman were turned upside down in the scuffle between legislators and marshals.

The governor resumed his speech but other Telangana legislators continued slogan shouting. Amid pandemonium, he cut short his speech and the house was adjourned for the day.

The TRS and TDP alleged that some legislators were injured as marshals used force to evict them.

The majority of ruling Congress party legislators from Telangana were not present in the house as they have been camping in Delhi for the last few days demanding that the central leadership of the party table a Telangana bill in parliament.

“At a time when people in Telangana have launched non-cooperation movement, the governor made no mention of Telangana and hence we tore his speech copies and threw it on his face,” TRS legislator Harish Rao told reporters, justifying their action.

TDP leader N. Janardhan Reddy said his party would continue to stall the legislature from Friday. “We will continue our protest till a bill is tabled in parliament and the assembly passed a resolution for a separate Telangana state,” he said.

Blaming the governor for suppressing the Telangana students’ agitation by deploying paramilitary forces, TDP legislator E. Dayakar Rao said people would not keep quiet till he goes back to Delhi. “We will not allow him to visit Telangana districts,” said Rao.

Filed under: Politics

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