As expected, the issue of police cases against agitators to and against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh figured prominently in the State Assembly on Friday, the first day of the Winter Session, so much so that the House was forced to be adjourned with transacting any business.
The Opposition, for once united on the issue of police cases, albeit for different reasons, forced the House to be adjourned three times and then finally for the day.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi chose to target the government over the filing of criminal cases against students and youth who had participated in the separate Telangana agitation while the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, an ally of the government voiced its demand for the lifting of cases against youth who are allegedly involved in the communal riots and also in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case.
The Members from the two parties shouted slogans against the government and managed to stall the proceedings for over two hours, forcing Deputy Speaker Manohar, who was in the Chair, to adjourn proceedings three times.
Mr Manohar tried to restore semblance of order in the House by inviting the Floor Leaders of all the political parties to his Chambers to discuss a way out of the logjam and ensure the smooth conduct of proceedings. His attempt however went in vain since the TRS and MIM members continued with their slogan shouting and placard display even after the House was reconvened.
The TRS Members were also supported by their Telugu Desam Party counterparts in pressing for the lifting of the police cases against the agitators.
Trouble for the ruling party began as soon as the House assembled for the Winter Session when Mr Manohar disallowed the adjournment motions moved by the TRS and the BJP over the lifting of police cases and the SC categorisation issue respectively. As soon as the Deputy Speaker announced that the adjournment motions were disallowed, the TRS started its slogan shouting and rushed to the Well of the House.
The TDP members also shouted slogans, seeking relief to flood-hit farmers.
Mr Manohar informed the House that the government was ready to make a statement on the issue of police cases and also sought a discussion to the issue of relief to the flood-hit.
Minister for Civil Supplies and In-Charge of Legislature Affairs D Sridhar Babu said that the government must be given a chance to make the statement, but more importantly, the issue of relief must be discussed. He also reminded the Members that the Question Hour was deferred so that the important issue of flood relief could be discussed.
However, the TRS did not relent and pressed on with the slogan shouting.
In the melee, Leader of the Opposition and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu reminded the house that despite almost an year after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had given an assurance of lifting the cases, the state government had demurred from acting on this assurance.
His words were echoed by TRS Member E Rajendra, CPI leader Mallesh, CMP Member Ranga Reddy and BJP Floor Leader G Kishen Reddy.