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AP Legislative Council adjourned without passing three capitals bill

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The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council deputy chairman Reddy Subrahmanyam on Wednesday adjourned the proceedings for the day amidst intense bickering between the ruling YSRCP and the Opposition TDP members.

The proceedings were adjourned without passing the two crucial bills – the AP Capital Region Development Authority Act and the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill 2020. The bill is the first step for the ruling YSRCP dispensation in decentralizing the state’s capital between Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool. The issue is already pending in the High Court. Farmers who gave 35,000 acres of land in Amaravati had petitioned against the Andhra Pradesh government’s move to trifurcate the state.

On Tuesday, the YSRCP leaders presented the two Bills before the Assembly Speaker Tamineni Sitaram who passed the two bills. The Bills were passed without any protest as the TDP boycotted the Assembly proceedings on Tuesday. The YSRCP dispensation enjoys a majority of 151 in the 175-member Assembly. However, it has only nine members in the legislative council, out of 58, while the TDP enjoys a majority of 28.

On Wednesday, the Bills were introduced in the AP Legislative Council. However, TDP leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu moved a notice under Rule 90 of the business rules pointing out that no discussion should be taken up in the AP Legislative Council as the issue is pending with the select committee. However, Yanamala Ramakrishundu asked the government to first introduce the appropriation bill and later discussion can be taken up on the two crucial bills – the AP Capital Region Development Authority Act and the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill 2020.

At this juncture, the ruling party members obstructed Yanamala’s speech which triggered a war of words between the TDP and YSRCP leaders. When Nara Lokesh, a member of the AP Legislative Council, was checking messages on his mobile, endowments minister Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao barged towards him. TDP MLC Beedha Ravichander stopped Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao which almost led to a fisticufs between the two leaders. The leaders of both the parties had to intervene to pacify Beedha Ravichander and Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao. As the House was not in order, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council deputy chairman Reddy Subrahmanyam adjourned the proceedings. The AP Legislative Assembly session was held only for two days and ended on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the arrest of former minister and TDP deputy leader Atchannaidu rocked the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council with the TDP MLCs accusing the YSRCP government of arresting their leaders out of sheer political vendetta. Raising the issue, TDP MLC Jagadeshwar said the arrest of Atchannaidu by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) from his house in Srikakulam district early Friday had raised many questions. He questioned the rationale behind deploying more than 300 policemen who scaled the compound wall of Atchannaidu’s house, barged in and arrested him. The timing of the arrests also raised doubts. Further, he said no prior notice was given to the TDP leader before his arrest. The manner in which Atchannaidu was arrested and the warnings issued by ruling the ruling YSRCP government was only to intimidate and instill a sense of fear among the TDP cadre, he said. Further, he slammed the state government for being vindictive and stated that the YSRCP ruling is suppressing the voice of BC leaders.

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AP Council Secretary disobeys Chairman again

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AP Legislative Council is getting stuck into a bigger constitutional crisis. For a second time, Council Secretary Krishnamacharulu has disobeyed the orders of Council Chairman MA Sharif. The Secretary has refused to notify the formation of two Select Committees for 3 Capitals and cancellation of CRDA.

The Chairman has given 48-hour deadline which has expired tonight. The Secretary very boldly sent back the Select Committees files back to Chairman desk. The Secretary told the Chairman that it would not be possible to constitute the committees as per the rules once again.

With no choice left, the TDP has decided to give privilege notices to the Council Secretary. Also, the TDP MLCs are going to the court against Krishnamacharyulu for his injustice. Already, hundreds of petitions are being filed against the Jagan Reddy government on various issues. The advocate general is under heavy pressure.

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KK comment on AP Council abolition

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TRS Parliamentary Party leader K Kesava Rao has dismissed AP CM Jaganmohan Reddy’s comments on the Legislative Council as utter nonsense. KK said that the overall Council maintenance would be a very nominal percentage of the actual costs of the total legislature expenditure.

Considering the larger interests of crores of population, the financial spendings on the Elders House should not be treated as a burden. KK said that the role of the Upper House in a state legislature is equally important to safeguard the overall interests of the democratic foundations.

KK’s views stirred a debate as he served as an MLC for a long time. Moreover, the TRS boss and CM KCR is very close to Jaganmohan Reddy. Even in TRS party internal affairs, KK is known for voicing his opinions openly. As of now, KK is a member of the Rajya Sabha which is similar to Council in a state. Interestingly, KK represents Andhra Pradesh in Rajya Sabha.

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AP Council abolition passed in Assembly

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The AP Assembly passed a resolution abolishing the Legislative Council. The main Opposition party TDP stayed away from the session in protest against the move. CM Jaganmohan Reddy introduced the resolution. He told the Assembly that there is no need for continuing the Council when it is obstructing the people-friendly bills being introduced by the government. Jagan asked whether the Council is there to create hurdles for the government and stop welfare programmes. CM accused the Council of stopping the decentralisation bill which was aimed at bringing balanced development in all regions in the state.

Interestingly, Jagan got old videos of Chandrababu Naidu screened in the Assembly. In those videos, Naidu spoke in the House in the past opposing revival of the Legislative Council. Also, videos of Naidu passing serious comments against PM Modi were shown to the MLAs. Naidu objected to abolition saying that it was politically motivated.
The voting was held on today’s abolition resolution in the Assembly. All the 133 MLAs present in the Assembly voted in favour of the resolution. Jana Sena lone MLA Rapaka Vara Prasad also voted in favour of Jagan resolution.

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YCP mind games begin on abolition of AP Council

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AP Ministers made confusing statements on Capital shifting till CM Jagan Reddy finally announced Visakhapatnam as the next Main Capital of AP. This clarification came after a prolonged and dangerous guessing game played by Minister Botsa Satyanarayana with the AP people. Now, similar mind games began on the issue of abolition of AP Council also. This time, YCP MLA Ambati Rambabu took up the task of starting this confusing game. He tells the people that the Council may or may not be abolished. The MLA is even asking why opposition parties jump to conclusions on such matters.

At the same time, Ambati Rambabu hits back at rival leaders saying that YSR had a different political situation when he revived Council. YSR was working in a national party. But it is not so with Jagan Reddy who is the undisputed supreme leader of his regional party. Ambati’s latest comments created further confusion whether Jagan Reddy is reversing his decision to abolish the Council because of non-cooperative Modi-Shah duo at the Centre. Without Central support, Jagan can’t get Council abolished now or ever. What other scope is there to shift AP Capital City immediately? Ministers are saying that CM has supreme powers but the opposition parties and Amaravati farmers are not accepting the YCP arguments. Can CM prove his decision as lawful in the court?

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Mandali Fiasco – Botsa made scapegoat

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Confusion Minister Botsa Satyanarayana made lots of noise during deadlock in the 3 Capitals Bill debate in Legislative Council. But ever since the Bill was referred to Select Committee, Botsa had fallen silent and not to be seen much. Rumours say that CM Jagan Reddy is not even calling the Minister for Amaravati Demolition to his latest strategy meetings also.

Prior to the Assembly session, Botsa was stated to have given confidence to Jagan Reddy on getting the Vizag Capital Bill positively passed in the Council. But the TDP MLCs gave no chance despite threatening and inducement tactics of Botsa. Then, the Minister promised to get the Bill rejected in the Council. This wasn’t why Botsa lost control and used foul language against Council Chairman Sharif. Even then, the Chairman stuck to his position and referred the Bill to the Selection Committee. The surprise strategies of Chandrababu Naidu gave nightmares to Botsa in Council episodes.

Now that the government suffered huge blow, Jagan Reddy has showed his displeasure against Botsa. The CM himself began taking direct control of the controversy by abolishing the Council altogether.

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TDP predicts no chance for Jagan: Council abolition

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The AP Opposition parties are closely monitoring the next step to be taken by CM Jaganmohan Reddy to abolish Legislative Council. Abolition is not totally in the hands of Jagan Reddy. The abolition bill has to be passed by the Parliament. For this, Modi-Shah duo will definitely take opinion of BJP AP leaders. As of now, BJP AP President Kanna Lakshminarayana as well as their party ally Pawan Kalyan are both strongly opposing CM Jagan in every issue. The two leaders will undoubtedly pressure Modi to block Council abolition. But the TDP leaders are doubtful whether pro-Jagan sympathisers within BJP will help in getting Central nod for the abolition bill.

After considering latest political equations, the TDP thinks that all is not easy for Jagan Reddy to get the approval of BJP new National President JP Nadda. Except for a few leaders, the whole of BJP AP unit, its national leaderships and even Hindu religious organisations are dead against Jagan Reddy these days. Moreover, Jagan’s abolition bill will have to get approval of the Jana Sena-BJP Coordination Committee as well. TDP leaders consider this committee as a bigger hurdle for Jagan managers and strategists to overcome. Political circles say that Jagan also knows about his political isolation but still he is just making bold postures outwardly to enthuse his partymen.

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We shall abolish Legislative Council: Jagan tells Assembly

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AP Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy is making definite steps to get AP Legislative Council abolished. Towards this end, the AP Assembly is meeting again on next Monday to discuss and finalise the fate of Council. Jagan told the Assembly that there is no need to continue the Elders House as it was acting with a political agenda. For the last seven months, the AP Council has been taking decisions against the decisions of YCP Regime. Jagan Reddy is greatly angry because of the Council Chairman Sharif’s latest use of discretionary powers to halt 3 Capitals Bill in the name of Select Committee enquiry. The CM made lot of fun at the Council Chairman. He even got a video of Sharif’s speech shown in the Assembly today. CM asked how can Council Chairman can order Select Committee while saying that it is against the rules.

Jagan Reddy said that since the Elders House is acting totally undemocratically, it should be abolished. Moreover, it is a waste of nearly Rs. 60 Cr per year and Rs. 300 Cr per 5 years on running the Council. All this money could be saved. Jagan said that there intellectuals, graduates, doctors, journalists, teachers, actors and so on in the Assembly itself. There is no need for Elders House. YCP is saying that Council has become like a TDP party office while TDP is saying that Assembly has become a YCP party office.

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Naidu-Vijayasai strategy wars from Council gallery

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AP Ex Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and YCP Number 2 Vijayasai Reddy are camping in the separate gallery boxes to guide their MLCs in the AP Legislative Council on the 3 Capitals Bill. Nearly 22 YCP Ministers are there inside the Council to bulldoze and get the Bill passed. But the TDP Floor Leader Yanamala Ramakrishnudu is demanding that the Capitals Bill should be referred to a Select Committee. Whereas, Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy said that technically, it wouldn’t be possible as TDP didn’t ask for Select Committee in advance. TDP asked how can it predict that the there would be so much deadlock on the issue.

The Council turned into a battle zone throughout the day. Both YCP and TDP stuck strongly to their positions. The Chairman had to adjourn the Council several times. Naidu had to remain in the gallery because TV live coverage of the Council was suspended by the ruling YCP to avoid getting negative attention from the viewers. Both Naidu and Vijayasai were seen consulting and guiding their MLCs in the Council strategy wars. Naidu is personally monitoring Council strategy to prevent the YCP from winning some more MLCs in favour of the Capitals Bill.

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TDP blocks Amaravati capital shifting Bill in Legislative Council!

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In a big setback to YSRCP government in Andhra Pradesh headed by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the TDP today blocked the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill 2020 in the Legislative Council by invoking Rule 71.

The Bill, passed by the State Assembly late on Monday, provides for setting up three Capitals in Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool for Legislative, Executive and Judicial activities.

The TDP gave a notice under Rule 71 and moved a motion “disapproving the policy of the government.”

Council Chairman Sharrif Mohammed Ahmed allowed the TDP’s motion much to the dismay of the ruling YSR Congress, which has only nine members in the Council.

Though almost all Cabinet ministers sat in the Council to thwart the TDP attempts to block the Bill, they could not convince the Chairman to take it up the Bill tabled by Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy.

Sharrif’s decision to allow the debate under Rule 71, done for the first time in history, led to heated protests by YSRCP members.

Buggana said taking up the motion under Rule 71 and putting off the Bill would set a bad precedent and have far-reaching consequences.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in the Council Yanamala Ramakrishnudu demanded that a debate be initiated on the Bill before it was tabled. He raised a point of order and referred to Rules 139, 140 and 141 of the Council Business.

“The Assembly passed the Bill only last night. You received notice about it this morning. Under Rule 141, two days time can be taken by the Council before the same Bill is moved,” Yanamala pointed out.

The TDP has 34 MLCs in the 58-member Council and the BJP has two.

When TDP MLC Rajendra Prasad started the debate on Rule No. 71, the YSRCP members opposed it saying that the Bills tabled by the government should be discussed first. They said it was against established convention.

YSRCP members, including ministers, went to the podium and demanded that the discussion be held on the Bills.

Municipal Administration Minister Botsa Satyanarayana alleged that the Council chairman was biased in favour of TDP. “Where is the need for the rule book, when no one follows rules?” he asked.

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Will Modi-Shah help Jagan to cancel Council?

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Like never before, 15 Ministers of the ruling party have come and begun obstructing the proceedings in AP Legislative Council. They are even going into the well of the House demanding a debate on the Vizag Capital Bill. But the Council Chairman refused to accept their plea as the TDP MLCs, who are in majority, demanded a prior debate on the government’s policies under Rule 71.

Losing hope on a positive debate, the YCP started talking about cancelling the Council. But this will not be of any help. If Jagan Reddy decided on the cancellation, his government would have to get the approval of the Parliament. Will it be possible? Jagan Reddy and his Number 2 Vijayasai Reddy are not getting even appointments of Modi-Shah for nearly three months now. It is clear that the YCP will not get any support in the Parliament. Moreover, the process of Council dissolution takes nearly a year. It means that Jagan will not be able to shift Capital immediately. So there will be enough time for Amaravati farmers to drag the government to court starting endless litigation.

Following this, Jagan may also be considering an ordinance. But there’s the problem of Governor referring Capital shifting ordinance to the Centre. It would again bring Modi-Shah into picture. Now, doubts are being raised whether Jagan will eventually get stuck in his own Padmavyuham like Abhimanyu.

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