VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council witnessed pandemonium on Wednesday with opposition Telugu Desam, BJP and PDF members staging protests in the house over state government’s move to rename Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences after late chief minister YSR Reddy.
Soon after council chairman Koyye Moshenu Raju started the Question Hour, TD members trooped into the well holding aloft placards denouncing YSR Congress government over changing the name of health university. Some of them even climbed up the podium demanding that its existing name be retained.
The chairman disallowed any discussion on the issue stating that no bill pertaining to the subject has come to the knowledge of the house so far. But TD, BJP, PDF and other members continued protesting while the chairman ran the business with ministers giving replies to queries raised by members despite the din.
Health minister Vidadala Rajani rose to say that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has immense respect for late chief minister N.T. Rama Rao and hence has named a district after him during the restructuring of districts. Rajani went on to expose a private conservation between TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and media personality Radhakrishna over changing the name of NTR Arogyasri.
This led to protests by TD members, who trooped into the well holding placards and raising slogans, while some climbed to the podium and tore up papers. They did not heed to Moshenu Raju’s pleas to get back to their seats and participate in the discussion when the subject is scheduled subsequently. The chairman gave the house a break thrice to restore calm but trouble persisted. In the interim, ministers concerned moved their bills one after another for introduction.
After lunch break, the health minister introduced the bill proposing to name NTR University of Health Sciences after YSR. She justified the move saying their government is adding as many as 17 new medical colleges to existing 11, taking total number of medical colleges in the state to 28. Vidadala Rajani maintained that credit for this should go to late YSR Reddy, as he had brought revolutionary changes especially in health sector and nearly 800 people died after learning that the former CM had died in a chopper crash.
Opposition TD members then began climbing up the podium, some remained standing in the well raising slogans, while TD MLC Deepak Reddy kept banging the table and some other members blew whistles to disrupt proceedings.
Moshenu Raju called in marshals to stand guard in the well and podium to ensure opposition members do not disrupt proceedings.
TD MLAs branded YSRC members as traitors and said the soul of NTR will be subject to anguish over the move to rename the health university.