Hyderabad: The budget session of the Telangana legislature on Monday began on an unpleasant note with the Council presiding officer being hit in the eye by an object thrown after sloganeering by main opposition Congress members.
Legislative Council Chairman K Swamy Goud said he was hit by the object thrown at the podium during the playing of national anthem after Governor E S L Narasimhan’s customary address to the joint session of legislature. Goud, who was seen with a plaster over his right eye after receiving treatment at a hospital, told reporters that a headphone hit him in the eye.
Earlier, the address was marred by slogan-shouting Congress members who accused the TRS government of being “anti-farmer”. Some of them tore papers and flung them in the air. The Governor, however, continued his address highlighting various welfare and development programmes of the government. Opposition BJP members walked out of the house during the address.
The Congress members were stopped at the Well of the House by marshalls. A few of them held placards and some members also tore papers and flung them in the air. Goud said that during the Governor’s address itself broken head phones were thrown which fell near the Governor without hitting (anyone). When they stood up for the national anthem after the Governor’s address, “another headphone came and directly hit my eye…,” the Chairman said. Since the national anthem had started, “I stood bearing the pain,” he said, adding after coming out and seeing off the Governor, the Chief Minister suggested he go to the hospital.
Condemning the incident, state Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy said the Assembly Speaker should take it up seriously as he hit out at the Congress over it. TRS MLC P Rajeswara Reddy alleged the Congress members indulged in “physical attack” by throwing objects, and demanded a probe into the incident.
Talking to reporters, state Congress president and MLA N Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the government deployed about 50 “police” personnel inside the House though there were only 12-13 Congress MLAs. “When there is a right to express protest by going into the well even in Parliament, the temple of democracy, about 50 police personnel were deployed in Telangana Assembly as per the Chief Minister’s orders,” he alleged.
Slamming the Congress, state Legislative Affairs Minister T Harish Rao alleged that the behaviour of the main opposition members amounted to an attack on the Governor. Later in the day, other parties also condemned the incident at the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting of the legislature, he said. The Speaker had been urged to hand out a very tough punishment by going through the video footage and other details of the incident, Rao said.
Meanwhile, BJP members told reporters that they “came out” of the House during the Governor’s address, as the government “repeated its false claims” in the speech. The Governor, in his address, said the state had clocked an average annual growth of 8.6 per cent of GSDP in the three-year period 2014-15 to 2016-17 which was much higher than the national average of 7.5 per cent. The state created a new record of supplying 24 hours ‘quality’ electricity, free of cost to about 23 lakh agriculture pump sets and also to the lift irrigation schemes since January 1, this year, the Governor said.