Politics of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly Speaker
In the present tenure of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly (2009 – 2014), the role of the House Speaker/Chair of the House became much controversial, due to frequent resignations of Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and subsequent rejections from the Chair.
Immediately after the sudden and tragic demise of Dr Y S Rajashekara Reddy, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, there was a huge uproar from the MLAs to make his son Mr Y S Jaganmohan Reddy as the Chief Minister. But, somehow, time rolled without falling of the Government on account of this cause.
The situation became much gruesome with the declaration of Mr Chindambaram, the Home Minister, Government of India, on 9 December, 2009, that the Government of India was willing to start the process of formation of Telangana State, as a response to the indefinite hunger strike of Mr K Chandrashekara Rao, President, Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) and subsequent incidents. As a reaction to this announcement, the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema political representatives in the State Assembly and Parliament of India started to resign to their respective positions, on the grounds of unilateral decision of the Government of India, in the formation of separate Telangana without taking into consideration their views, and voiced their concern for United Andhra Pradesh. As a start-up to this sequence, Mr Lagadapathi Rajagopal, Indian National Congress (INC), Member of Parliament (MP) from the Vijayawada constituency first put forwarded his resignation. As a follow – up to this many other representatives in the Legislative Assembly and Parliament submitted their resignations. Government of Andhra Pradesh lost its strength with this act in the Legislative Assembly and was required to go for elections. But, the resignations were not accepted by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha/Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. At that point of time Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy was the Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. As there was no time frame for the acceptance for the resignations/to take decision on this resignations issue, he postponed his decision indefinitely. Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy belongs to the INC, as a result he favoured his decision to support the INC without falling of the Government. As a result, he was able to get the Chief Minister position too later, though he had no prior experience as Minister also!!
After Mr Kiran became the Chief Minister of the State, Mr Nadendla Manohar was elevated to the position of Speaker, who was till then Deputy Speaker. He too declined to accept the resignations of the MLAs who again resigned due to various reasons like as a response to the CBI enquiry on Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and in support of Telangana cause.
In this whole issue, the position of the Speaker of the House became much controversial. The Speaker of the House is required to get elected from the Members of the House after its assembly, immediately after the election. Usually, the Political Party which is having majority in the House is able to get its candidate elected as the Chair of the House. As per political traditions/theory, the Speaker is required to act in unbiased manner after the election, without favouring any section/member/party in the House. But, such a scenario is far from reality. The Chair of the House is usually chosen by the majority Political Party, to favour its actions in the House. Only such a person who would be able to protect the interests of the majority political party to the fullest capacity would be elevated to this Chair of the House’s stature. Sometimes some politicians/Members of the House consider Minister Positions more desirable than the Chair of the House. But, in order to grow politically slowly/step by step, one accepts the Speakers position, and be obedient to the Government/Majority Party/his parent party. By continuing in the Chair’s positions one develops good contacts too, especially political and gets his/her works done in a smooth manner, including the works related to the Constituency represented.
In this whole episode, some of the Members resigned to his/her position/s, knowing that their resignations will not be accepted and they were not willing to face the elections too! They had much trust in the Chair of the House that their resignations will not be accepted!! It’s a huge emotional political game to suit the situation/s!!! Ultimately, the Voters/citizens gets free entertainment, if they feel.