Deputy speaker and dalit women Dr G Kuthuhalamma compared her experience in AP assembly to the disrobing of Draupadi in the Kaurava court, following a remark mady by leader of opposition N Chandrababu Naidu against her.
The three-day heated debate in AP Assembly on the no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition Telugu Desam had left a bitter experience just few hours before closing the debate in the wee hours of Thursdays following remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition, N. Chandrababu Naidu. On Wednesday evening he angrily asked the Deputy Speaker, G. Kuthuhalamma, to leave the Chair.
It has created uproar and led to the demand by Congress Dalit ministers and MLAs to suspend Chadnrababu Naidu from the house for the remaining period of the present term of Assembly. Even as Kuthuhalamma broke down in her chambers and offered to quit her post, Congress ministers and MLAs termed the TD chief “anti-Dalit”, and sought his expulsion from the House.
The issue was resolved after an hour with Naidu withdrawing his remarks and the Deputy Speaker re-entering the House amid thumping of desks. She, however, compared her experience to the disrobing of Draupadi in the Kaurava court.
Earlier, a delegation of ministers led by Gollapalli Suryarao and J. Geetha Reddy met the Speaker, K. R. Suresh Reddy, asking him to expel Naidu from the House. They also demanded that a case be booked against him under the SC/ST Atrocities Act and further asked Naidu to tender an unconditional apology. “His real face is out,” said Geetha Reddy. “He showed his hatred towards Dalits and women and they will vote to keep him out in the next polls.”
However, the TD chief denied that he had insulted Kuthuhalamma and said that it was he who brought her into politics. “Congress leaders have criminal brains and are trying to make an issue out of nothing,” he fumed.
Naidu lost his cool during the heated debate on the no-confidence motion since he felt that Dr Kuthuhalamma, who was in the Chair, was denying him sufficient time to speak. He angrily asked her to vacate the Chair and sought the return of Suresh Reddy and warned that TD members would disrupt proceedings till he returned. Naidu’s words and gesticulations at the Deputy Speaker angered Congress MLAs.
Intervening, the minister for finance and legislative affairs, K. Rosaiah, warned Naidu that his words would invite action under the SC/ST Atrocities Act. Pained at Naidu’s criticism, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the House and left in a huff.
However, Naidu said he had great regard for Dr Kutuhulamma and accused Congress MLAs of creating a drama to divert attention from the no confidence motion. “I brought her into politics,” said the TD chief. “I was suspended from the party for making her a Zilla Parishad chairman.”
He added that anybody could check the live recording of the proceedings. “I am ready to face action if I have done anything wrong,” he said. The minister for small scale industries, Gollapalli Surya Rao, said Dalits would stay away from the House till Naidu offered an unconditional apology.
“Naidu gesticulated at the Deputy Speaker and said she was not fit to hold the post,” he said. “It was disgusting.” Another minister, Mareppa staged a dharna in front of Gandhi Statue in the Assembly premises in protest. A Congress MLA, Pamula Rajeshwari, started crying while reacting to the incident.
“Dalits have been the target for ages,” she said. “How long do we have to bear these insults?” After a break of about 40 minutes, the House resumed with Suresh Reddy taking the Chair. Naidu then withdrew his remarks as he came under pressure not only from the ruling party but also the Left and the BJP.
However, Dr Kutuhulamma did not mince her words and said that Naidu constantly said that the House reminded him of the Kaurvaa Sabha. “They really behaved like Kauravas today,” she said. Naidu later suggested that Kutuhulamma be made the Speaker and Suresh Reddy be inducted into the cabinet.(
Naidu lost his temper by realising the Congress game plan to continue the house till wee hours, so that he could get time to give reply for the debate only after 12 in the mid-night. That would unable the public to view the proceedings from the TVs and also morning news papers may not carry his reply in detail.
He alleged that the speaker by sitting in his office-room allowing the minister after minister to speak each more than one and halfen hour, while originally they were said to be given a time of halfen hour each only. The speaker also refused to adjourn the debate for the next day, but insisted to end the debate and put to vote on the same day only.
He demanded that speaker should come to the house and control the ministers not to speak more than the time allotted so that he can be given opportunity to give reply early.(EOM)