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.