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TDP disrupts Andhra assembly proceedings

February 16, 2005 22:13 IST

Telugu Desam Party legislators on Wednesday disrupted the proceedings of the Andhra Pradesh assembly protesting against the change of rules for live telecast by private channels of the proceedings.

They protested after Speaker K R Suresh Reddy rejected five adjournment motions tabled by the opposition on various issues.

This included one motion relating to the telecast.

Despite repeated pleas from the speaker to allow the Question Hour to proceed and his assurance that he would discuss the issue in the business advisory committee meeting during the tea break, the TDP members insisted that the adjournment motion be taken up immediately.

The speaker had no choice but to adjourn the House for a while.

When the House reassembled after an hour, the TDP members continued to disrupt the proceedings, holding placards and raising slogans.

The speaker then again adjourned the House.

The House reassembled after one-and-a-half

hours, but the TDP members did not relent.

The speaker adjourned the House for the day after some members rushed towards him and started arguring.

Speaking to the media later, TDP leaders criticised the Congress "for making crude attempts to stifle the freedom of the press and muffle the TV channels in a bid to prevent the people from watching live proceedings of the assembly, which may expose the failures of the government".

They said till now ETV-2, a Telugu channel, was allowed to telecast the proceedings.

However, the press advisory committee recently decided to change the rules.

The committee wanted only the Doordarshan's local (Saptagiri) channel for the job.

But since Doordarshan telecasts only parliamentary proceedings, the committee decided that only the Commissionerate of Information and Public Relations should shoot the assembly proceedings and the private channels could use the CIPR feed.

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad