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Uphold dignity of House: ex-MLAs

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, MARCH 20. T he Andhra Pradesh Former Legislators' Forum at its meeting here on Sunday expressed concern over frequent disruption of the Assembly proceedings, unruly behaviour of members, rushing to the Speaker's podium and indulging in mudslinging. Taking strong exception to the behaviour of the present MLAs, the forum recalled the golden era of the parliamentary democracy in the past when the ruling and Opposition members participated in fruitful discussions with dignity.

The former Speaker, P. Ramachandra Reddy, said he prefers to switch off the television once the members got down to verbal duel.

"During our tenure, not even a single member dared to rush to the podium to lodge protest," he observed.

He recalled how veteran leaders like Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, Boorgula Ramarkrishna Rao, Puchalapalli Sundaraiah, Ravi Narayana Reddy and Gouthu Latchanna stood out as models for young legislators.

Plea to Government

The former Speaker also regretted the way the candidates were being selected by parties. "Merit, efficiency and capabilities of an individual have been given a go-by and you find non-meritorious people entering the Assembly," he said.

The forum urged the Government to redress their grievances at the earliest. The forum meeting attended by over 100 former legislators made a fervent appeal to the Government to pay attention to their medical treatment. They reasoned that the members should be treated on par with the sitting legislators in terms of medical facilities.

The former Assembly speakers -- P. Ramachandra Reddy and G. Narayana Rao -- besides former Ministers and legislators attended the meeting. The forum convenor, K. Subba Raju, presided over the meeting.

Medical facility

Mr. Ramachandra Reddy highlighted how the former members and their family members could not afford costly treatment. He named a couple of former legislators who were unable to approach corporate hospitals for treatment.

Mr. Subba Raju said the free travel for former legislators in RTC buses and free rail travel coupons for second class should be provided.

He said keeping in view the threats by naxalites, the former legislators should be provided personal security.

He also sought allotment of house sites for the forum members at concessional rates.

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