Members of the Andhra Pradesh legislature are an aggrieved lot and legislators from the ruling and opposition parties blame each for the current state of affairs. On one hand the legislature sessions are being conducted for too few days a year and, on the other, the issues the members raise in the Council and the Assembly have been eliciting virually no response from the government. In the nine sessions of the 14th legislature held since 2014, the House sat only for a total 80 days. The tenth session is currently on and it will be for ten days. While the ruling Telugu Desam Party is accusing the YSR Congress of regularly disrupting the House and stalling its business, the lone opposition party says the TDP government is shying away from its responsibilities. However, during the ongoing session, there will be no disruption as the Jaganmohan Reddy-led opposition party is staying away from the House. For a variety of reasons, questions raised by members in both Houses remain unanswered for the past few sessions. In the Assembly, as many as 296 questions raised by the members elicited no response from the government, said legislature sources. In the Council where the proceedings relatively go on smoothly the number of unanswered questions is more than double at 603, including 58 special questions, they said. "There is no accountability in this government and the House is not being run as it ought to be. The government is shying away from rules and responsibilities," Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Buggana Rajendranath Reddy alleged. That issues raised by members in the legislature remained unaddressed only exposed the glaring lapses in the administration, the YSRC MLA told PTI. TDP senior MLA Alapati Rajendra Prasad and first-timer Palla Srinivasa Rao blamed the opposition party for the state of affairs. "The YSRC always adopted a single point agenda of disrupting the House. So the Question Hour took a beating and our questions never drew any response because of abrupt adjournment or postponement," they pointed out. Rao said the government was not at fault in the issue. "In some cases we are sent written replies but, yes, there is some delay in that.
If the members' queries are not answered, it could well become a privilege issue," Prasad noted. Irrigation and industries topped the list of "unresponsive" departments, the sources said. Council Chairman (in charge) Reddy Subrahmanyam and Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao are also sore over this. "Replies to questions raised by members are not being furnished in time. One officer in each department should be entrusted with the specific responsibility of replying to legislators' questions," they told Chief Secretary Dinesh Kumar recently. Kumar, on his part, asked his subordinate officers to act promptly in providing information. "You should act responsibly and see that all information sought by legislators is promptly furnished. Designate one person in each department for the purpose," the cief secretary directed the government secretaries. A principal secretary-level officer said the relocation of the government and the legislature from Hyderabad to Amaravati in the last one year was the main reason for not answering legislators' questions. "There has been a lot of dislocation because of the transition. Reorganising things took time and hence the delay. Now we are back on track and everything will be sorted out soon," he added.
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