Andhra Pradesh assembly was adjourned twice on Saturday as opposition YSR Congress Party stalled the proceedings, demanding that its legislator R.K. Roja be allowed to attend the session.
The members of the lone opposition party, who were clad in black dresses as a mark of protest, wanted Speaker K. Sivaprasad Rao to respect the court order, which stayed Roja’s suspension from the house for one year.
Raising slogans against the TDP government, YSRCP members did not allow the speaker to conduct the business.
Amid pandemonium, the speaker adjourned the house for 10 minutes. When the house re-assembled, YSRCP continued its protest, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house again.
Roja sat on a silent protest since morning at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the assembly premises. Some other members of YSRCP were also seated with her to show solidarity.
The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, had on Thursday stayed the operation of the speaker’s order for Roja’s suspension.
The actress-turned-politician, however, was stopped from entering the assembly on Friday.
The state government filed a petition in the High Court, challenging the single judge’s interim order. A division bench will hear the appeal on Monday.
The government’s action in not allowing Roja to attend the current budget session triggered strong protest from the opposition party, which lodged a complaint with Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.
The actress-turned-politician, who represents Nagari constituency in Chittoor district, was suspended from the assembly during the winter session for one year for allegedly using “abusive” language against members of ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) including Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
On a petition by Roja, challenging her suspension, Justice Ramalingeswara Rao passed interim orders on Thursday.
However, the TDP government decided not to implement the order and challenge it before the division bench.
The speaker on Friday announced that the house will debate the court order in Roja’s case. He said the copies of the court order will be circulated to all members and suggested that they go through it. He said the discussion on the issue will be taken up on Monday.