Hyderabad: As expected, the ruling Congress ensured the victory of its nominees, Mr Nadendla Manohar and Mr Batti Vikramarka as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively of the State Assembly by defeating the TDP candidates with comfortable majority in the elections held on Saturday.
Though the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly were traditionally elected unanimously in the past, the Telugu Desam forced an election this time by fielding its nominees in an obvious attempt to embarrass the ruling Congress party. However, the game plan of the TDP boomeranged and the Congress party had the last laugh
A special session of the Assembly was convened on Saturday to elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. In the open ballot held on the floor of the House by the pro-tem Speaker, Mr. J. C. Diwakar Reddy, for electing the Speaker, the Congress candidate, Mr Manohar secured 150 votes as against the TDP nominee, Mr K. E. Krishnamurthy’s 90 votes.
Apart from the Congress members, including those belonging to the Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy camp, the PRP and MIM members voted in favour of Mr Manohar while both the Left parties, BJP and Lok Satta did not participate in the voting. Besides the TD, the lone CPM member voted in favour of Mr Krishnamurthy.
As soon as the House assembled at 11am, the pro-tem Speaker, Mr J. C. Diwakar Reddy, after a faux pas, announced the election of the Speaker as per the agenda. He said that due to a mistake on his part, a confusion arose over the method of conducting the election – by open ballot or secret ballot. Though the notification issued by him stated that the election would be held by open ballot, he had realized about the Supreme Court’s judgments in such matters and hence was proposing an amendment to the rule. Accordingly, he called upon the Minister for Legislature Affairs, Mr D. Sridhar Babu, to move a motion to hold the election by division.
TDP MEMBERS PROTEST
The TDP members strongly protested against the action of the pro-tem Speaker and argued that once a notification was issued it cannot be changed and insisted that the election be held by open ballot. Mr Diwakar Reddy ruled that the Chair has powers to modify any rule and hence seeking the opinion of the House by voice vote for the proposed amendment to conduct the voting by division. The motion was moved and passed by a voice vote amidst protests from the TDP.
Mr Diwakar Reddy immediately took up the election of the Speaker by voice vote and declared Mr Manohar elected much to the chagrin of the TDP members, who took strong objection to the manner in which the voting was taking place. The TDP members even stormed on to the podium and expressed their protest. The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, pointed out that the Treasury Benches have no objection if the TDP was insisting for a division of votes.
Thereupon Mr Diwakar Reddy called upon the members, who were in favour of Mr Manohar to stand up and a counting of the heads was taken by the legislature staff. Again the members, who were in favour of the TDP nominee were asked to stand up and a counting taken up.
Mr Diwakar Reddy announced that the Congress candidate had polled 150 votes as against 90 votes polled by the TDP nominee. Mr Manohar was then declared elected as the new Speaker and then he was escorted to the chair by the Chief Minister, the Leader of Opposition and all the Floor leaders of various parties.
Later, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, Mr Chandrababu Naidu and leaders of other parties congratulated Mr Manohar and expressed confidence that he would bring laurels to the post by conducting the proceedings of the House in an impartial manner as was done by him in the past as Deputy Speaker.
Mr Manohar, in his reply, assured to live up to the expectations of the members and strive to uphold the confidence reposed in him. He then conducted the election for the Deputy Speaker’s post which was conducted on the same lines as that of the Speaker by division of votes.
The Congress nominee, Mr Bhatti Vikramarka, was declared elected by polling 164 voted as against 88 polled by the TDP nominee, Mr Suddala Devaiah. He was escorted to the Chair, which was vacated by the Speaker, by the Chief Minister, the leader of Opposition and others.
HOUSE ADJOURNED SINE DIE
The Chief Minister, the leader of the Opposition and all the floor leaders of various parties besides a number other members felicitated Mr Batti Vikramarka on his being elevated as Deputy Speaker after being the Chief Whip of the government.
And in a surprise move, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House sine die without giving scope for the much expected no-confidence motion to be taken up much to the consternation of the TDP members who served notice for the same earlier before the commencement of the session.