The first session of the third Telangana Legislative Assembly began in Hyderabad on Saturday with the oath taking process of the newly-elected MLAs getting underway.
The Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs, however, stayed away from the House, alleging that All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi was appointed as Pro Tem Speaker in violation of rules.
Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy was the first to take oath, followed by Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.
The House was adjourned to December 14 after several members took the oath.
Before the commencement of the session, Akbaruddin Owaisi was administered the oath by Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan as the Pro Tem Speaker at the Raj Bhavan and he presided over the proceedings in the House.
Owaisi was appointed as Pro Tem Speaker though there were other senior members in the House, Union Minister and state BJP president G Kishan Reddy alleged.
"There is a tradition of a senior person being appointed as the pro tem Speaker in the Assembly. The BJP opposes the appointment of AIMIM's Akbaruddin Owaisi as Pro Tem Speaker as per an understanding (of Congress) with AIMIM," Reddy told reporters.
Observing that the Congress has only a wafer-thin majority in the Assembly, he claimed that the government is faced with a situation of collapsing even for a small pretext. In view of this, the AIMIM member is made the Pro Tem Speaker as per a plan, he alleged.
"Because of the violation of the legislative Assembly's rules, we are opposing the appointment of the AIMIM person as the Pro Tem Speaker. Therefore, our members are boycotting taking oath with him in the chair," he said.
The Congress has begun its appeasement politics and violation of the traditions of legislative Assembly just three days after assuming power, Reddy alleged.
He pointed out that the BJP has already claimed that there is a tacit understanding between the Congress and the AIMIM.
During the recent election campaign, it was alleged (by Congress) that the BJP and AIMIM were one. Now, Telangana people should know on what criteria Owaisi has been made Pro Tem Speaker in violation of rules, Reddy said.
The true colours of the Congress have come out again, he said.
The BJP would like the election of the Speaker to be held after the appointment of a senior member as Pro Tem Speaker.
The BJP MLAs would take oath after the regular Speaker assumes office, Reddy said.
The BJP MLAs later submitted a memorandum in the Raj Bhavan requesting Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to set aside the nomination of Akbaruddin Owaisi as Pro Tem Speaker.
As per the constitution, Article 188, a senior most member in terms of number of years in the Assembly be nominated as the Pro Tem Speaker, the BJP MLAs said in the memorandum.
"The TS-BJP takes strong objection to the way the norms are flouted wilfully by the Government to pander to certain' sections of the people in pursuit of appeasement politics," the memorandum said.
The BJP also requested the Governor to instruct the officials concerned to withhold the process of election of a new full-time Speaker for the newly constituted assembly pending nomination of a senior most member as Speaker.