Arrests of Telangana leaders rock Andhra assembly

Hyderabad, March 22 : The arrest of top Telangana leaders during a road blockade rocked the Andhra Pradesh assembly with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) stalling the proceedings and ultimately forcing the house to be adjourned for the day.

Speaker N. Manohar had to adjourn the house amid pandemonium as the protesting TRS members sat near his podium, shouting anti-government slogans.

However, the legislators of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) remained seated in the house, demanding the speaker to clarify when the issue of electricity shortage would be debated. They refused to leave the house till the speaker give them an assurance.

The speaker adjourned the house twice and the third time till Saturday as his repeated appeals to members to allow him to take up the listed business fell on deaf ears.

Holding placards and raising 'Jai Telangana' slogans, the TRS members rushed to the speaker's podium after he rejected their adjournment motion on the arrests.

Two TRS legislators, Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor M. Kodandaram and five other top leaders were arrested by police in Mahabubnagar district Thursday for trying to stop traffic on Hyderabad-Bangalore highway in a protest to demand a separate Telangana state. They were remanded to judicial custody till April 4

TRS leader Harish Rao alleged that the government was trying to suppress the peaceful protest by arresting hundreds of activists and leaders.

Meanwhile, TDP and other opposition parties lodged their protest with the speaker for adjourning the house repeatedly, thus denying them an opportunity to debate people's burning issues, especially electricity shortage.

The TDP members refused to leave the house even after the speaker adjourned it for the day. Leaders of other opposition parties called also urged the speaker to find a solution to run the house.

The house has not taken up debate on any issue since the budget session began March 13 as TRS is stalling the proceedings almost daily, demanding the house to pass a resolution to urge the central government to carve out Telangana state.

The speaker had to suspend TRS legislators from the house for a day on March 18 to enable Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy to table the state budget for 2013-14.

--IANS (Posted on 22-03-2013)

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