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Live telecast: uproar in House

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, FEB. 16. The Assembly was adjourned amidst uproarious scenes without transacting any business today after the Opposition Telugu Desam Party members stalled proceedings over what they described as ``changes'' in the procedures for live telecast.

The Speaker, K.R. Suresh Reddy, adjourned the House twice earlier when TDP members raised slogans, displayed placards and surrounded the podium, insisting that the issue be taken up for discussion. The TDP members also a staged a `sit-in'on the steps leading to the podium.

After the House was adjourned for the day, the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) met and decided to retain the private agency for the live telecast of the proceedings and provide feed to TV channels. The TDP representatives on the BAC — T. Devender Goud, N. Janardhan Reddy and Y. Ramakrishnudu — walked out of the meeting when their demand to continue the private channel was turned down. The Legislative Affairs Minister, K. Rosaiah, told reporters later that the BAC also took a decision not to entertain any more the private TV channel, which was earlier permitted to telecast ``unofficially.'' He said the BAC took note of the fact that there was no written permission for the private TV channel.

Denial of permission

But the Leader of the Opposition, N. Chandrababu Naidu, contended at a press conference that the private channel was indeed granted permission as the erstwhile TDP Government wanted to empower people with information. The present Congress regime wanted to deny this permission as it was "scared that its failures would be exposed."

Earlier in the House, trouble began soon after the Speaker announced that he was disallowing the notices for adjournment motions tabled by the TDP on the telecast issue and on four other matters given by the CPI, the CPI (M), the BJP and the Janata Party. Immediately after the Speaker's announcement, Opposition members were on their feet. Mr. Suresh Reddy told TDP members that he would convene the BAC meeting soon after question hour and advised them to raise the issue there. The TDP members, however, continued to disrupt the proceedings.

Even as the uproar continued, the Speaker said: " This is not the right behaviour. This is unruly, I am sorry." With the members not relenting and disrupting the proceedings, the Speaker first adjourned the House at 9 a.m. Even after adjournment TDP MLAs squatted on the steps leading to the podium and held aloft the placards.

Slogan-shouting

When the House reassembled at 9.50 a.m., TDP members, including its whip, P. Keshav, gathered near the podium holding placards forcing the second adjournment. When the House met later at 11.35 a.m., a similar scene was repeated by slogan-shouting TDP members leading to the adjournment for the day, almost two hours ahead of the scheduled time.

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