Opposition members today vehemently protested against the Chair for denying them adequate time during debates in the House and switching off the mikes while they were still speaking.
The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition K. Jana Reddy on Wednesday when the House assembled and the question hour was about to begin. Taking strong objection over the manner in which Deputy Speaker Padma Devender Reddy denied the Opposition members required time during the debate on budget allocations for various departments on Tuesday and the abrupt switching off the mikes while the members were still speaking, Jana Reddy termed it as sheer discrimination against the Opposition.
Jana Reddy said the Chair should be impartial while conducting the proceedings and also protect the interests and rights of members from both sides. It was very unfortunate that the Deputy Speaker had acted contrary to this by cutting the mikes when the Opposition members were participating in the debate, he observed. BJP Floor leader G. Kishan Reddy also took strong objection to switching off mikes while he was still speaking in the House.
Stoutly refuting the charge by the Opposition members, Minister for Legislature Affairs T. Harish Rao said it was very unfortunate for the Opposition members pointing an accusing finger at the Chair of discrimination and partiality. Reeling out statistics about the time taken by various parties during debates, he said as a matter of the ruling TRS party was given lesser time than other parties. He reminded that time was being allotted to various parties on the basis of the strength of each party. However, at times the Opposition members were allowed more time than the allotted time based on the importance of the issue, he observed.
Harish Rao went a step further in defending the actions of the Chair in the Telangana Assembly by reminding the Leader of the Opposition about the manner in which Leader of Opposition Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s mike was being repeatedly switched off in the neighboring AP Assembly. As a matter of fact, the Leader of the Opposition in Telangana Assembly was being liberally accommodated, he observed.
Speaker S Madhusudana Chary tried to put an end to the controversy by stating that he had gone through the proceedings of Tuesday and had found that the Opposition members were given adequate time and as a matter of fact, the Deputy Speaker was more than accommodative in allowing more time to the Opposition members. The Speaker reminded the members that while conducting the proceedings in the House, the Chair would treat both sides impartially and that based on the strength of the party the time would be allotted. The members should also understand the constraints and feelings of the Chair in running the day-to-day proceedings. He sought cooperation of both sides for healthy and constructive deliberations in the House. (NSS)