Hyderabad: The police firing near the proposed thermal power station site in Srikakulam district rocked the State Assembly on Monday and forced its adjournment for the day as a persistent Opposition insisted for a discussion by stalling the proceedings in the House.
It might be recalled here that two fishermen were killed and over 50 others sustained injuries when police resorted to firing to quell a mob of villagers protesting against the proposed 2640 MW thermal power plant of the Eastern Power Company Ltd under Santabommili mandal of Srikakulam district on Sunday.
As expected, the police firing provided the needed fodder for the Opposition to put the State government on the mat. And soon after the Deputy Speaker, Mr Nadendla Manohar, disallowed four adjournment motions tabled by the TDP, BJP and both the Left parties on the subject, the Opposition members vociferously demanded that the House should deliberate on the incident before taking up any other business.
The Deputy Speaker pointed out that it was an unfortunate incident and appealed to the members to allow the question hour to be taken up first and wait for the government’s response on the incident. However, the TDP members, holding placards, raised slogans condemning the police action and insisted for a discussion. The BJP and the Left parties too demanded that it was a grave issue and hence should be deliberated forthwith.
The Leader of the Opposition, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, accused the State government of not heeding to the protests by the fishermen of the surrounding villages of the thermal power plant site and went ahead in granting sanctions for setting up the power plant. The government tried to suppress the protests of the affected fishermen by using brute force. He held the State government responsible for the death of the two innocent villagers and insisted that the issue should be discussed thoroughly in the House.
The Minister for Legislature Affairs, Mr D. Sridhar Babu, pointed out that the Home Minister would make a statement in the House placing all details in the House. He appealed to the Opposition members to observe restraint till the statement is made.
Mr Chandrababu Naidu expressed his surprise and displeasure over the government’s attitude in not being prepared to give details even though the incident had taken place on Sunday afternoon.
Even as the Deputy Speaker was trying to pacify and agitated Opposition, the TDP members rushed to the podium raising slogans. At that stage, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House for a brief period at 9.10 am but the House could not reassemble even after nearly three hours.
The Home Minister, Ms Sabita Indra Reddy, made a brief statement on the police firing incident after the House reassembled. Not satisfied by the Home Minister’s statement, the Opposition members demanded a thorough discussion on the incident. The TDP, BJP, CPI and CPM members refused to yield to the appeal by the Chair to restore order in the House and insisted that the police firing besides the present political crisis should be deliberated. The MIM Floor leader, Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi, wanted the House to discuss the crisis being faced in the wake of the non-cooperation movement launched by the Telangana employees.
The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, intervened and asserted that the State government was prepared to discuss any issue on the floor of the House but the Opposition parties should make up their minds first about the subject that should be deliberated upon. When the noisy scenes continued with the Opposition sticking to their guns, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House for the day to meet again on Thursday.
The State Assembly wore a deserted look with the TRS, the Congress and TDP members from the Telangana region abstaining from the House. While the TRS members were busy in their rail roko programme and so also were the Telangana TDP members. The Telangana Congress members boycotted the session in pursuance of their demand for a separate State. As such, the House which witnessed noisy scenes since the commencement of the budget session on the complicated Telangana issue, was today rocked by the police firing in Srikakulam district. (NSS)