AP Assembly deliberates for less than two days

AP Assembly deliberates for less than two days

“Lawmakers who were elected by the people to take up issues on their behalf are baffled by the way the Andhra Pradesh Assembly conducted itself in the Budget session. 

The discussion now is more in the lobbies than in the House,” observed a senior MLA on the last day of the state’s budget session.

Bedlam, acrimonious wrangling and suspensions have become the rule of the day in every session with hardly any debate on people's issues. 

The sessions became a mere formality to pass budgets or bills, without any debate.

During the budget session, which concluded last week, the House proceedings were conducted for only 57.29 hours during the 20-day session in two spells. It should have normally functioned for approximately 140 hours. As it costs Rs 2 crore a day to run the House, a staggering Rs 40 crore was effectively lost during the budget session.

The budget session was stalled by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) which was demanding introduction of a resolution in the House paving way for a separate Telangana state.  With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) backing the demand, other members in the highly stratified Assembly become mere spectators of the daily war of words between the treasury and Telangana demanding MLAs.n The first phase in March also witnessed the government defeating a no-trust motion, tabled by the TRS, thanks to the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) abstaining. There was hardly any debate and even the state budget was presented after suspending the TRS members. 

The second phase of the budget session that began on June 10 could not take up debates on any issue; leave alone the farming sector which is in disarray. There was some debate when Speaker Nadendla Manohar suspended the TRS members to facilitate the passing of essential bills.

The first ever exercise of Assembly level standing committees similar to that of Parliament was wasted as the House failed to take up any debate on the reports submitted by the committees to the House. It took two-and-a-half-months for the committees to budgetary allocations to various sectors and submit their reports.

“The ruling party suspended the TRS members whenever it required to pass bills but at other times allowed them to create a ruckus so that no issue came up for a debate,” said TDP leader E Dayakar Rao blaming the bedlam on the ruling Congress. “We believe that the main opposition TDP has lost a golden opportunity of pointing out lacunae in government programmes by frequently rushing to the well and their leader Chandrababu Naidu behaving irresponsibly,” countered government whip Toorpu Jayaprakash Reddy.