The tenth session of Andhra Pradesh legislature will commence here tomorrow but it could well be a dull affair as the only opposition YSR Congress (YSRC) has decided not to take part in the proceedings. The YSRC is the lone opposition party in the 176- member Assembly and, for the record, has 66 members. But 21 YSRC MLAs have switched sides and joined the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) over the last 22 months. The Jaganmohan Reddy-led outfit has decided not to attend the legislature session in support of their demand that these legislators be disqualified forthwith. "We are not boycotting the legislature sessions and are very much in favour of attending the proceedings. But the Speaker should first initiate action against the turncoats who crossed over to the treasury benches," said senior YSRC MLA G Srikanth Reddy. The TDP has 103 members and its coalition partner BJP four MLAs, while an independent and another of Navodayam Party have "associated" with the ruling party. There is one nominated (Anglo-Indian) member in the House. Senior legislators point out that it will be the first time the entire opposition will be staying away from the legislature proceedings though on some previous occasions only the Leader of Opposition abstained in protest against an issue. In the absence of any opposition, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu wants to run the House on the lines of Singapore Parliament. "Opposition in Singapore is nominal but the ruling party takes the parliamentary proceedings very seriously.
So, we too shall take the legislature sessions seriously and work for redressal of peoples grievances," Naidu told a meeting of the TDP Coordination Committee. For the first time, the monsoon and the winter sessions of the legislature are being held together as the government skipped the monsoon sitting normally conducted in July-August. "This will be a combined session and may likely be conducted for 10-15 days. Once the government gives clarity, we will decide on the exact number of days," Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao said on the eve of the session. The Speaker appealed to the YSRC to reconsider its decision and attend the House. "I have read in newspapers about the YSRCs decision. It will be good if they attend and take part in the debates on all issues. I appeal to them to attend the session," Rao said. The government, on its part, will take up some important legislative business to enact laws like the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Corridor Development Act and a modified law on land acquisition. A few other bills are also being drafted for presentation to the House, government sources said.
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