Hyderabad, Feb.17: Unprecedented ruckus, unruly and violent scenes were witnessed in the State Legislative Assembly during the Governor, Mr E. S. L. Narasimhan’s, address to the joint sitting of both the Houses on the opening day of the budget session today.
For the first time in the annals of the Assembly, the marshals had to be summoned into the House during the Governor’s address to bodily lift and evict the TRS and TDP members, who went berserk breaking mikes on the podium and pulled down the chairs and hurled missiles at Mr Narasimhan.
Amidst full-throated slogans of “Governor go back” by the TRS and TDP members espousing the cause of separate Telangana State, paper balls, torn copies of the Governor’s speech and flexi posters were hurled at Mr Narasimhan while the Chairman of the Council, Dr A. Chakrapani, and the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Mr N. Manohar, were pushed and jostled in the melee.
Ironically, the Governor, in his prepared address had mentioned that the “overall law and order situation in the State is quite satisfactory and political or communal violence is under effective control and check”, but the scenes witnessed within the august House amply proved otherwise.
Despite the ruckus and unruly drama unfolding in the House, the Governor remained undeterred, though shaken up a little, and completed his address in Telugu and English within 15 minutes. Mr Narasimhan began reading the speech in Telugu and after a few minutes switched over to English version. He abruptly concluded his address in Telugu quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s words “My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest”. He left the House amidst slogans of “Governor Zindabad” from the Congress benches.
The volatile and violent situation continued even outside the House when the president of the Lok Satta Party, Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, and the senior Congress MLC, Mr P. Venkata Rao, were beaten up by the TRS members at the Media Centre on the Assembly premises.
The Security Guards and Marshals had to rush to the scene and rescue the two leaders by escorting them to the Chambers of the Deputy Speaker, who summoned doctors and got them examined. Dr Narayan even lodged a complaint with the Deputy Speaker about the assault on him. The police said that if a formal complaint was lodged by the Deputy Speaker, a case would be registered against those involved in the assault on the legislators.
As expected, the moment the Governor escorted by the Council Chairman and Assembly Deputy Speaker entered the House, slogans of “Governor Go Back” erupted. However, silence prevailed when the national anthem was played, but it was only shortlived. As Mr Narasimhan began reading the speech in Telugu, trouble triggered with the TRS, pro-Telangana TDP members and the BJP members rushed towards the podium. The members of the Left parties and other TDP members chanted slogans demanding fee reimbursement to the students.
While the TRS members tried to snatch away the copy of the speech from the Governor, the TDP members, Mr Revanth Reddy, Dr Nagam Janardhan Reddy and Mr E. Dayakar Rao, threateningly rushed on to the podium. Mr Revanth Reddy even pulled out the chair from the podium.
As the situation was going out of control, the Marshals entered the House and they, along with the ADC to the Governor, protected Mr Narasimhan by forming a wall between him and the agitating members. For a few minutes there was a scuffle between the Marshals and the agitating members and at one stage even fist fights between them were witnessed.
Amidst the melee, some TRS members broke the mikes while others used the speech copies as missiles and hurled them at the Governor who read his speech using the color radio mike. At one stage, the TRS member, Mr Harish Rao, even climbed on to the desk and began hurling paper missiles at the Governor. With the situation taking a serious and controllable turn, the Marshals swung into action and forcibly evicted the agitating members. In the process, some members even fainted.
The Governor abruptly concluded reading his speech and left the House amidst tight security cordon provided by the Marshals and paramilitary forces. Soon trouble began at the Media Center when TRS members assaulted Dr Jayaprakash Narayan and Mr Paladugu Venkata Rao after the former expressed his anguish and resentment over the manner in which the House was held at ransom and demanded that President’s Rule be imposed in the State in the wake of the breakdown of the Constitution and disruption of the democratic functioning of the legislature.