Hyderabad: In an unprecedented move, two Congress MLAs – Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and SA Sampath Kumar – were expelled from the Telangana State Assembly on Tuesday, while 16 other members from the principal Opposition party – 11 MLAs and five MLCs – were also suspended for the entire Budget session.
The rare action of expulsion was triggered by all-round demand for stringent measures against the Congress legislators after a headphone flung by Venkat Reddy at the podium during Governor ESL Narasimhan’s joint address to the State Legislature on Monday caused an injury to the right eye of Council Chairman K Swamy Goud. The Congress as a group had indulged in unruly behaviour during the Governor’s address.
Effectively, this would mean that both the Houses would function without a single Congress member since Leaders of the Opposition in the State Assembly and Council K Jana Reddy and Mohammad Ali Shabbir respectively were also among those suspended.
The message from the treasury benches was loud and clear that it will not tolerate such unruly behaviour bordering on violence. “The decision is tough but unavoidable. If what we did today is wrong, then people will be the judges,” Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said, given the fact that Congress members threw pens, eye glasses and headphones targeting the Governor on Monday.
As soon as the House assembled in the morning, a visibly-upset Speaker S Madhusudhana Chary set the tone stating: “I cannot describe in words my anguish over Monday’s developments. I experienced shock after the incident. It is unfortunate that in the four years of this Assembly, yesterday was a black day.”
Immediately afterwards, Legislative Affairs Minister T Harish Rao moved a motion for the suspension of 13 Congress members for the duration of the session which was carried by a voice vote. A little later, the Minister, quoting various provisions that govern the behaviour of MLAs in the House, moved a motion to expel Venkat Reddy and Sampath Kumar from the Legislative Assembly. This too was easily carried out and the Speaker announced that the two members were no longer members of the State Assembly.
As Congress members rose to their feet in protest, Jana Reddy was heard asking that his party be heard on the issue. However, the Speaker requested the Congress members to leave the House. The Congress members lingered for a while in the House and left after a group of security marshals arrived and began escorting them out with some of them calling out loudly in protest against the expulsion and suspension.
While the Congress members termed it as ‘undemocractic’, the Chief Minister declared any act of anarchy, whether they occur in the Legislature or outside, will be put down firmly “come what may”.
A similar exercise was carried out in the State Council where Deputy Chairman Neti Vidyasagar observed that though the members had the right to protest and express their views, they cannot resort to physical attacks. The House passed the suspension resolution moved by Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari by a voice vote.
Later, the Congress announced that it would approach the court against the expulsion and suspension of its members.