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April 24, 2018
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Two TS Congress members expelled, 11 suspended for rest of budget session“Unruly” behaviour in the House on Monday had caused injury to Council Chairman

Two Congress members were expelled from the Telangana Legislative Assembly and 11 others suspended for the rest of the ongoing budget session on Tuesday.

The Legislative Assembly passed a resolution expelling and suspending the members, holding them responsible for the “unruly”scenes witnessed in the House on Monday when Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan was addressing the joint sitting of the Legislature. Congress members K. Venkat Reddy and S.A. Sampath Kumar were expelled for hurling earphones at the podium injuring Legislative Council Chairman K. Swamy Goud.

The suspended Congress legislators included Opposition Leader K. Jana Reddy and senior members N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, T. Jeevan Reddy, J. Geetha Reddy, D.K. Aruna, G. Chinna Reddy and Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka. The Congress members decided to take legal recourse against the Chair’s “unilateral” decision besides representing the matter to the President and raising the issue in Parliament. The party’s expelled members decided to organise fast for 48 hours under the banner “Save Democracy” at Gandhi Bhavan, the party’s State headquarters from this evening and they would be joined by the suspended members from Wednesday.

As the House assembled for the day, Speaker S. Madhusudana Chary conveyed his deep regrets at the “atrocious, unwarranted and unfortunate” incident which left a blot on the Assembly. Legislative Affairs Minister T. Harish Rao moved the motion under Rule 340 (sub rule 2) of the Assembly Rules seeking the suspension of the 11 Congress members.

He then moved a resolution under Article 190 (3) of the Constitution for expulsion of the two Congress members terming the “attack” on the Chair as “serious insult” to the legislative bodies. He expressed his anguish and deep shock at the “contemptuous incident” and wanted the Chair to take immediate action on the issue. The House passed the two motions by voice vote notwithstanding the requests made by Mr. Jana Reddy for allowing the main opposition to air its version on the developments.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao welcomed the Chair’s action and asserted that the House would not backtrack on taking tough decisions if the members behaved against the dignity and decorum of the House. “Though the decision was painful, it was necessitated as the Congress members came pre-determined to the House to create ruckus,” he said.

The Government had prior intimation about the Congress members’ move. “They (Congress members) went on record saying their target was the Governor. This reflects their impatience,” he said. The Chief Minister justified the expulsion and suspension of the members claiming that a clear message had to be sent outside. “We are definitely right,” he said.

Recalling how the Congress was spreading falsehood since the inception of his government in 2014, the Chief Minister said they were unable to digest the fact that people reposed confidence in the ruling party in a series of bypolls held after the TRS Government took over. “My government is clear on holding debates come what may. But the Congress members crossed the limits,” he said.

MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi supported the Chair’s decision, but wanted the ruling party to reconsider the suspension of Opposition leader K. Jana Reddy as he did not appear to have taken part in the unruly incidents. In fact, Mr. Jana Reddy failed to control his members.

BJP member G. Kishan Reddy too wanted the Chair to reconsider suspension of the Opposition leader. The Speaker, during the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee, assured that he would take the views of all floor leaders before taking any decision. But no such initiative was taken in spite of the fact that the Opposition Leader expressed his regrets for Monday’s developments.