TDP, BJP stage walkout over cases against journalists

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Hyderabad, Nov 15 (UNI) The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today staged a walkout in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly in protest against the Government's refusal to unconditionally withdraw cases against two journalists for exposing alleged lapses in the 'Indiramma' scheme through a sting operation.

Stating that prima facie it appeared that it was not a sting operation but creation of a story without evidence to ''blackmail'' the officials concerned and tarnish the government's image, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy said he had asked leaders of the journalist union to wait till investigation was over.

Dissatisfied with Dr Reddy's reply, Leader of Opposition N Chandrabau Naidu led the TDP members out of the house after alleging that the Congress Government had ''foisted a case on journalists to instil fear among all journalists that those who wrote against the government would be punished. Instead of arresting the Village Secretary, the government had acted against journalists, who exposed lapses in the weaker section programme, with ''vengeance'', he charged.

BJP Floor Leader G Kishan Reddy, before staging a walkout, accused the Congress party for adopting double standards by welcoming sting operations in Gujarat done against the Narendera Modi Government and the one to expose MPs allegedly taking money for raising questions in Parliament.

CPI(M) Floor Leader Nomula Narasimaiah and TRS Member Nayini Narasimha Reddy also registered their parties' protest.

UNI

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