Andhra Pradesh: Five TDP MLAs suspended from Assembly

Amaravati: Five legislators of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) were suspended from Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Monday for the rest of the Budget session for disrupting the proceedings over the Jangareddygudem hooch tragedy.

Speaker Tammineni Seetharam announced the suspension of the TDP members after Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath moved a resolution.

The TDP legislators had rushed near the Speaker’s podium and threw pieces of papers towards the chair while demanding the government to discuss the deaths caused by illicitly distilled liquor in Jangareddygudem town.

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Alleging that 25 persons died after consuming cheap liquor, TDP demanded a statement from the government and debate on the issue.

The pandemonium led to the Speaker adjourning the House twice. When the House re-assembled, the opposition legislators continued their protest disrupting debate on the budget. The finance minister then moved a resolution for suspending the opposition members.

TDP deputy leader Atchan Naidu, Butchaiah Chowdary, P. Keshav, Ramanaidu and Veeranjaneya Swamy have been suspended for the rest of the session.

Later, speaking in the Assembly, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy slammed TDP for doing politics over natural deaths. He said the opposition party is running a false propaganda.

The Chief Minister said that deaths caused by illicit liquor happened many times in the past. He claimed that his government is dealing firmly with illicit liquor trade and it has already shut many belt shops (the extension of licensed liquor shops).

Reddy said the previous government indiscriminately allowed liquor shops for the sake of revenues, adding that shops were even opened near schools and temples.

Stating that controlling illicit liquor trade is the policy of the state government, he said ever since YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) came to power, 43,000 belt shops have been shut down.

Meanwhile, TDP General Secretary and member of Legislative Council, Nara Lokesh, demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Reddy, owning moral responsibility for the death of 25 persons in the Jangareddygudem hooch tragedy.

He dismissed the allegation by YSRCP that TDP is doing politics over dead bodies, and alleged that Jagan Mohan Reddy is the ‘brand ambassador’ of doing politics over dead bodies.

He slammed the CM and his party MLAs for trying to describe the illicit liquor deaths as natural deaths, just like how they tried to make Jagan Reddy’s uncle Vivekananda Reddy’s ‘murder’ look like a fatal heart attack.

Lokesh said the ‘guilty’ YSRCP members were unwilling to come for a full fledged debate on the Jangareddygudem hooch deaths in the House.

The TDP members stuck to their demand for debate for over four hours, but the ruling party was very adamant, he said.

Apparently, the YSRCP government was running away from a meaningful discussion, Lokesh said.

Lokesh also vowed that his party would continue its agitation till the victims’ families get justice. The TDP is demanding that the government pay Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia to each family. A judicial or CBI investigation should be ordered to bring out the facts in the midst of the state government’s cover up bid, he said.

Lokesh said that during Chandrababu Naidu’s regime, the excise revenue target was just Rs 6,500 crore. Now, Jagan Reddy is targeting an abnormal revenue of Rs 22,000 crore from liquor sales, he said.

Jagan Reddy’s liquor policy is responsible for the human tragedy in Jangareddygudem, he said.

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Indo-Asian News Service

Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. It was founded in 1986 by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the "India Abroad News Service" and later renamed. The service reports news, views and analysis from the subcontinent about the country, across a wide range of subjects.
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