Hyderabad: The usually peaceful Legislative Council was rocked for the first time since the start of the budget session by the main Opposition Telugu Desam party on for Kadapa MP, Mr. Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s properties and investments into the Jagati Publications (Publishers of Sakshi) forcing adjournment of the Upper House for the day. The TDP members demanded for constitution of Joint Legislative Committee (JLP) to probe into the illegal properties amassed by Mr Jagan.
Soon after the House met for the day, the Opposition members, led by the Leader of Opposition, Mr Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, insisted on the House taking up their adjournment motion on the issue. The Chairman, Dr Chakrapani, who earlier announced that he had disallowed the motion, said there could be no debate on the matter as the motion was already disallowed and the matter was not before the House. He also asked the Opposition members to come in some other form if they wanted to raise the subject.
The ministers, Mr Vatti Vasanta Kumar, Mr D Sridhar Babu and Mr Kanna Lakshminarayana, have contended that the issue concerns a private individual who was not in the House and therefore could not be discussed. They said that the matter was outside the purview of the Legislative Council. They also argued that newspaper reports could not be discussed in the House. The ministers repeatedly urged the Opposition members not to waste the valuable time of the House and asked them to permit the House to proceed with its listed business.
As the House could not take up the question hour because the TDP members were on their feet and were demanding constitution of Joint Legislature Committee to go into the matter, the Chairman initially adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
When the House reassembled after the break, the Chairman announced that the questions listed for the day were postponed. However, he could not get on with the business of the House even after the break as TDP members raised slogans demanding that a Joint Legislature Committee be appointed to go into the issue.
Mr Veerabhadra Rao contended that it was not an issue concerning an individual or debating a newspaper report as was being argued by the Congress members. He said the Income Tax department had found that over Rs 374 crores was invested in the Jagati Publications by companies or individuals who received favors from the government. He said that it amounted to misappropriation and misuse of official position and hence could be discussed in the House.
Mr Vasanta Kumar said that Income Tax department was a Central government department and hence matters related to it did not come under the purview of the State government or the legislature. He said there were allegations even against the TDP chief, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, and were tried in courts of law. He said that if there was any discussion on the matter, it should start with the allegations against Mr Chandrababu Naidu.
At this juncture, Mr Veerabhadra Rao has pointed out that the late chief minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy himself had filed a case against Mr Naidu and had withdrawn it later as he was convinced that it was untenable. Mr Vasanta Kumar said that the late chief minister had withdrawn the case due to a misunderstanding and wrong advice.
The Civil Supplies Minister, Mr Sridhar Babu, told the Opposition that it was not proper to disrupt the proceedings for political gain. Repeated requests from the ministers and the Chairman were of no avail. As the TDP members continued to raise slogans demanding probe by Joint Legislature Committee on Jagan’s properties and investments in the Jagati Publications, the Chairman adjourned the House till Tuesday. (NSS)