The Opposition YSRCP MLAs have decided to boycott the Assembly Sessions, beginning November 10 over the Speaker's failure to disqualify 20 MLAs of YSRCP, who defected to the TDP without resigning their posts. As many as four of them are serving as ministers in the Government even while continuing as the Opposition MLAs.
YSR Congress Legislature Party, which met on Thursday,has said that it would attend the assembly sessions only if the 21 turncoat MLAs are disqualified and four ministers removed. The party said the State Government has thrown all democratic norms and legislative conventions to winds by engineering defections. As many as 21 MLAs were lured into the ruling party in the presence of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and at his official residence. Yet, all these MLAs are still being shown as YSRCP MLAs and are seated along with the Opposition MLAs.
"This is travesty of democracy and the Speaker is deliberately deferring the decision on the fate of the defectors," said senior party leader and MLA Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy. "We can't sit (in the Assembly) with our heads bowed when a mockery is being made of democracy. Hence, we have decided to boycott the Assembly session, that is expected to begin on November 10," he said.
"A latest bulletin issued by the Assembly said the YSRC has 66 MLAs. Even four ministers were listed as members of YSRC. Are we part of a coalition government?" Ramachandra Reddy wondered.
The party felt that the Assembly sessions should have been held in August, but the Government is holding the sessions in November to offset the prestigious Padayatra of YS Jagan from November 6.
The party also said that the ruling party has been using the Assembly sessions only to vilify YS Jagan and attack the Opposition party. The TDP has no faith in legislative decorum and democracy. "During the last three years, the assembly was in session for just 80 days. while during the reign of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the assembly was in session for over 150 days," Peddireddy pointed out. He said the party has exhausted all options to make the speaker see reason and has hence decided to boycott the assembly session.