Jagan tells TDP defectors to quit and join YSRCP

Jagan tells TDP defectors to quit and join YSRCP

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. DH photo

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has said that any prospective turncoat MLA from the beleaguered Telugu Desam Party will have to quit their membership first.

The YSR Congress chief has also urged the speaker of the house to disqualify any such lawmaker who joins the ruling party by retaining the seat won on the ticket of another political party.

Jagan said this on the second day of the state assembly while speaking on a motion congratulating the new speaker of the house Tammineni Sitaram. “Just when I was entering the house, some of our (YSRCP) MLAs said why not encourage defection and take 5 of Naidu’s legislators denying him the status of opposition leader,” he told the speaker. “I told them that if I do it there is no difference between me and Naidu, who has purchased 23 of my MLAs and 3 MPs like cattle,” Jagan said.

Opening up an acrimonious debate that further widened the wedge between the two leaders, Jagan was categorical in saying that the TDP government in the past has violated all norms of the legislative assembly and as a result faced a rout in the elections. “Is it not providential that exactly 23 MLAs are left with Naidu now and only 3 MPs, just as many as he purchased from us,” Jagan said much to the displeasure of Naidu who found himself in an awkward position as an opposition leader.

“When you talk about the past five years, you must also know the history and how your father YS Rajasekhar Reddy changed parties,” Naidu said for which the treasury benches objected. “When I asked you about a crime you committed, you talk about past crimes of others committed decades ago. But you can’t escape from what you have done,” Jagan retorted.
 
 The orderly disorder
 
However, the discussion took an ugly turn when the issue of Naidu not accompanying the new speaker of the house to the chair as per the traditions of the house. While the Protem Speaker S Appala Naidu made the announcement asking the leader of the house and the leaders of other parties to come and join, deputy floor leader of TDP legislature party K Achennaidu came forward as Naidu stayed in his place.

While the ruling party blamed Naidu for dishonouring the speaker who belongs to a backward community, Naidu was furious that he was not invited as per the norms. “Instead of offering an apology to the speaker, Naidu has sent his “Bantroth” (orderly) to do the honours,” said Chevi Reddy Bhaskar Reddy of YSRCP. Upset by the comments Achennaidu demanded an apology from Chevireddy who refused to budge in. Finally, the speaker said that he will give a ruling after verifying the records.

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