Two Congress MLAs were expelled from the Telangana Assembly on Tuesday, following their attack on the Governor on Monday when he was delivering his address to the House.
The action is unprecedented in the state’s history including the years of the combined Andhra Pradesh Legislature.
Eleven other Congress MLAs were suspended for the remainder of the session. Leader of the Opposition Mr K Jana Reddy and Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president Mr N Uttam Kumar Reddy were among those who were suspended.
There would not a single representative of the main Opposition party for the rest of this Budget session.
The two Congress members, Mr K Venkat Reddy and Mr Sampath Kumar, threw headphones at the Governor Mr ESL Narasimhan. One of them hit Telangana Legislative Council Chairman Mr T Swami Goud.
Three headphones and a mike were recovered by the chief marshal and handed over to the Speaker Mr S Madhusudanachary.
Soon after the House assembled Legislative Affairs minister Mr T Harish Rao read two separate motions dealing with expulsion and suspension. Both motions were passed by a voice vote.
“The decision is painful. But we are forced to take such a decision as they (Congress) came to the House (On Monday) with a pre-meditated decision to create ruckus”, chief minister Mr K Chandrashekar Rao said.
Both the Majlis Ittehadul Musilmeen and BJP asked the treasury benches to reconsider their decision to suspend Leader of the Opposition Mr K Jana Reddy. The government did not respond.
Later in the Assembly lobbies there was confusion on whether the two Congress MLAs were also disqualified from the Assembly.
When The Statesman met Mr Harish Rao, he said, “They are now former legislators”. The Legislature Secretariat would follow the process of forwarding the House’s decision to the Election Commission of India.
He said there are several precedents in other states. “It’s understandable if a party wants to protest through slogans, placards, staging dharnas or even tearing the Governor’s address. But it’s not tolerable if the Governor is being attacked”.
“Mr Venkat Reddy told electronic media very clearly that he wanted to hit the Governor, but the headphone instead hit Mr Swami Goud. We had video evidence, but his statement was unambiguous”, he said.