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Andhra Speaker tells Jagan not to dictate House agenda over new capital

Hyderabad, Sep 3 (PTI): The Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly on Wednesday chided Leader of the Opposition Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy after Jagan insisted on a debate over the new state capital and members of his party stalled the proceedings by rushing into the Well of the House.

”You are getting prejudiced. You can't dictate the agenda (of the House), you can only take part in the discussion,” Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao told the Opposition leader even as the ruling party members suggested that Jagan first learn the rules and procedures of the Assembly.

The YSR Congress leader raised the issue of the capital’s location after Question Hour and wanted to know when a discussion would be taken up.

”There are reports that the Chief Minister set an auspicious 'muhurtam' for making a statement (in the House) on the new capital. How can he make a statement without a discussion? What is the use of a discussion in the event?” he questioned.

He wanted to know how the government could unilaterally decide where the capital should be located without discussing the Sivaramakrishnan Committee report.

Intervening, Sports Minister K. Atchannaidu said the Chief Minister would make a statement on the issue in the Assembly on Thursday and also table the committee report in the House.

”The Cabinet has taken a decision on the location of the new capital. But we have not made any announcement so far with due respect to the Assembly as the session is on. You can't base your arguments on newspaper reports,” Atchannaidu said.

Jagan recalled that in July 1953, the then Assembly discussed for five days the capital issue when the erstwhile Andhra state was carved out. Voting was also conducted to determine the capital's location.

”We want a discussion and voting on the capital now as well. If that doesn't happen, what for is the Assembly,” the Opposition leader wondered.

The Speaker said there were two methods: the government's statement followed by a discussion or vice-versa. “It is the prerogative of the government,” the Speaker asserted adding the Leader of Opposition could not “dictate the agenda”.

Ministers Ch Ayyannapatrudu, Bojjala Gopalakrishna Reddy, senior MLAs Dhulipalla Narendra Kumar, Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary and others found fault with Jagan for seeking to get the House run according to his whims.

”Let the statement be placed in the House and discussion happen. The Opposition party can express its views and also give suggestions to the government,” they said and advised Jagan to “get trained” by legislature experts on the rules and procedures of the House.

The YSRC members rushed into the Well of the House and demanded that a discussion the capital be taken up, followed by voting, before the Chief Minister announced the government's decision.

Amid the din, the Speaker adjourned the House for ten minutes.

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