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Bedlam in Andhra assembly over special status issue

There was utter bedlam in the Andhra Pradesh assembly on Friday as opposition legislators jostled with marshals near the speaker’s podium and uprooted the mike.

One of the television cameras near the podium was also damaged in the melee.

The issue of special status to the state rocked the house for a second consecutive day as YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) legislators, demanding an immediate debate on the matter, trooped near the Speaker’s podium.

Wearing black shirts, holding placards and raising slogans to protest denial of special status to the state by the Centre, they encircled the Speaker’s chair. 

They also tried to prevent Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad Rao from conducting the proceedings.

Amid the din, Legislative Affairs Minister Y Ramakrishnudu said the government will make a statement on the issue and the debate could be taken up subsequently. The lone opposition party did not relent and insisted on a debate straightaway.

There was high tension in the house as the legislators had reached close to the Speaker, who had to call in the marshals. 

The security personnel of the assembly tried to keep the protesting MLAs away, leading to pushing and jostling. The Speaker repeatedly told the opposition members that they were making grave mistake by attacking the marshals.

Amid the uproar, the Speaker adjourned the House for 10 minutes. When the House reassembled, the opposition further intensified its protest. 

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