On the day of the 15th Assembly Session held on Thursday, witnessed the first speech made by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy as the new Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.The conduct of the Speaker and the issue of political defections and was discussed both by YS Jagan and the Leader of the Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, soon after the House elected the new Speaker Tammineni Sitaram.
However, there was a stark difference in the way both the leaders spoke! Chandrababu chose to conveniently stay silent over the criticism and statements made by YS Jagan, when he spoke about the issue of political defections.
Earlier, congratulating Sitaram on his election as Speaker, the Chief Minister made a mention of the defection of YSRCP legislators into the TDP in the last House. "Seeing the previous House, everybody understood how a Leader of the House and the Speaker should not be. Now, we are determined to show how a Leader of the House and the Speaker should be," Jagan said amid thunderous applause. The previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government turned the Assembly into a House, where the Constitution or laws did not matter, the Chief Minister alleged.
He then referred to the defection of 23 YSRC MLAs into the then ruling TDP and how four of them were even made ministers in the Chandrababu Naidu Cabinet.
"The previous government purchased 23 of our MLAs like cattle. Four of them were made ministers. We sought their disqualification under Anti-Defection Law but they didn't care," YS Jagan pointed out.People have disqualified that government which refused to disqualify the defectors. We have seen it in the recent elections," he added.
In a mock observation, Jagan remarked that "God had written such a beautiful script" that the TDP was left with only 23 MLAs and three MPs now (the exact number of MPs it took away from YSRC in the last term).
"That is the beauty of democracy and beauty of God's grace. We are seeing that in the House today," he said.
YS Jagan also said someone suggested that he lure five or six TDP MLAs into the YSRC fold to deprive Naidu of his opposition status.
"I replied that there will be no difference between me and Chandrababu Naidu if I do that," he added. The YSRC president claimed that some of the newly-elected TDP MLAs were ready to jump the ship.
"I don't want to reveal how many TDP MLAs are in touch with me. If I start luring MLAs, the TDP will not even have opposition status. But I will not do that. If someone wants to come and join us, they have to first resign from their post," Jagan maintained. He requested the Speaker to disqualify such legislators even if they defect by mistake.
YS Jagan recalled how the previous Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao conducted the House in a "totally biased and arbitrary" manner, in utter disregard to laws and rules. He was like a remote control in the hands of Chandrababu and YS Jagan said that he would not behave in such a manner. "I have given full freedom to the Speaker to take action against any member of the house, if they behaved in any manner which is against the constitution", he said.
By this statement, the message was loud and clear that YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was setting new trends in the way he wanted the Assembly to function in future.
Chandrababu Naidu had no answers to any of these statements made by YS Jagan. Even when MLA RK Roja spoke about the atrocities that happened to her in the past, Chandrababu choose to stay silent and not respond, because he knew that those acts were morally wrong. It was also true that he had given Kodela Siva Prasad Rao the full freedom to conduct the session beyond the scope of the Constitution.
Once again, his actions were crictised when he did not go to receive the Speaker Tammineni Sitaram and formally take him up the podium to the Speaker's chair along with YS Jagan. Instead, he chose to send his party members and when this act was criticised, he and party members had nothing to say but to give lame arguments that they were not informed about the Speaker nomination and that they were not formally called.
Though the Protem Speaker Appala Naidu had called everyone, but Chandrababu did not go. Being a senior most member he should have gone at least to keep up his dignity and uphold tradition. This gave scope to further criticism that he had not given the due respect to be accorded to the Speaker's post.
This was not the first time that he had done this. When N Kiran Kumar Reddy was made Speaker, owning to political rivalry, he chose to behave in the same manner.
Chandrababu is in a trance... He is unable to digest the fact that he is not the Chief Minister anymore and this has led to a serious inferiority complex within him. Chandrababu is unable to digest the fact that Sitaram who was once a TDP minister and a close aide was given such importance by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, which he truly deserved.
Though the electoral battle between both of them is over with YS Jagan winning it, we can say that the "f'actual" war has started. Chandrababu Naidu is reeling under severe fear about his future. Why? He maybe recollecting the way he treated YS Jagan in the past and now, is worried about his own existential future. He made a lot of noise in the past about winning the elections but failed miserably, but now he has nothing to say anything in the Assembly except for a feeble protest that his ''voice'' can still be heard.
At the end, we can say that YS Jagan has an upper hand over Chandrababu on Day One itself!
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