Uttam defends appointment of Akbaruddin Owaisi as pro-tem Speaker

We did what was the right thing to do, says Telangana minister

Hyderabad: Amid the protest over the appointment of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s Akbaruddin Owaisi as a pro-tem Speaker of the assembly, Telangana Minister and Congress leader Uttam Kumar Reddy on Saturday said that “It is a normal procedure and added that the Congress party did what was the right thing to do”.

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“Going by seniority in Assembly, I should have been the pro-tem Speaker, the senior most MLA in the Congress party, but since I have taken an oath as a minister, the procedure didn’t allow me to be a pro-tem Speaker. So then we looked at other 6-term MLAs, the most senior MLAs. Akbaruddin Owaisi is the most senior MLA among all the parties. So it is a normal procedure,” he told ANI.

Further, Reddy defended the appointment of an All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA as the pro-tem Speaker, stating it was a normal procedure followed even during the previous BRS government. He emphasised that the decision was made based on what was right, not due to any external factors.

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“When the BRS government was there last time, they had an AIMIM MLA as the pro-tem Speaker. This has nothing to do with anything else. We did what was the right thing to do. I cannot comment on the future equation with AIMIM. That’s for our state leadership to discuss with everybody. And also for our national leadership to discuss and give us a direction,” Telangana Minister Uttam Kumar Reddy said.

Meanwhile, objecting to the appointment of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s Akbaruddin Owaisi as a pro-tem Speaker of the assembly, Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party chief and Union minister G Kishan Reddy said on Saturday that the BJP decided to boycott the oath-taking event, alleging violation of assembly rules in the appointment of pro-tem Speaker.

G Kishan Reddy further said that the BJP will go to the Governor on the issue of the pro-tem Speaker.

“BJP is against the appointment of Akbaruddin Owaisi as Pro-tem Speaker (of Telangana Assembly). This is against the tradition of appointing senior MLAs to the post.The BJP MLAs will boycott taking oaths before this pro-tem Speaker,” he said.

“Our MLAs will take oaths after a speaker is appointed. We will never ally with such a party (AIMIM). We will go to the governor on this,” he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party accused the Congress government of ‘neglecting’ the senior candidates for the post and of defying the existing tradition of the House.

Citing violation of assembly rules in the appointment of pro-tem Speaker, he said, “There is a tradition of appointing senior leaders as the pro-tem speakers. However, they (Congress) have appointed Akbaruddin Owaisi due to their understanding with AIMIM. We object to this.”

On Friday, AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi took oath as pro-tem Speaker of the Telangana Legislative Assembly in Raj Bhawan, Hyderabad.

The oath was administered by Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan. Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy was also present on the occasion.

The governor appointed Akbaruddin Owaisi as the pro-tem speaker of the state assembly on Friday.

The pro-tem speaker serves a temporary role, officiating the assembly session until the newly-elected members are sworn in and a speaker is elected.

Earlier on Thursday, twelve MLAs took oaths as ministers in a fresh cabinet in Telangana, along with new Chief Minister Anumula Revanth Reddy in Hyderabad. Revanth Reddy became the first Congress Chief Minister of the youngest state in India.

Congress won an absolute majority in Telangana for the first time, winning 64 of 119 seats.

Telangana Congress President Revanth Reddy won by a margin of 32,532 votes in Kodangal against BRS’s Patnam Narender Reddy.

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