Andhra Pradesh: Oppn forces adjournment over Wakf

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Hyderabad, Mar 12: The Andhra Pradesh Assembly was adjourned for the day today soon after Question Hour as members of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and All India Majilis-E-Itihadul Muslimeen stalled the proceedings over alleged lack of protection to Wakf lands in the state.

Dissatisfied with Minorities Welfare Minister Mohd Ali Shabeer's reply on the issue of protection of wakf property during Question Hour, TDP and AIMIM members rushed to the well of the House and disrupted the proceedings. After repeated appeals, Speaker K R Suresh Reddy announced that all questions were deemed to have been answered and adjourned the house for 15 minutes.

When the House reassembled, the unrelenting members of the TDP and AIMIM remained in the well and raised slogans against the government.
The Speaker made repeated pleas to the agitating members to resume their seats and raise the issue during the debate on the demands for grants for the minorities Department.

But as the TDP and AIMIM members did not relent, the Speaker adjourned the House to meet again on March 13. The TDP had earlier forced adjournment of the House for 15 minutes, when the Speaker disallowed its adjournment motion notice to press for naming of the Domestic terminal of the International airport after TDP founder and former Chief Minister N T Rama Rao.

The Speaker also disallowed adjournment motion notices by the CPI and CPI(M) on the problems of physically handicapped, by the BJP on the government's decision to close the Begumpet airport and poor condition of roads leading to the new International airport and by the lone Janata Party member K Sriramula on compensation for the family of a student killed in the US and rehabilitation of workers returning from the Gulf region.

Earlier, the Minister promised the Opposition members that he would convene a meeting of legislators concerned soon to discuss the issue at length and chalk out strategies to protect wakf land and sort out issues relating to any illegal alienation of wakf land. He also assured the members that a Revenue Division Officer well versed with wakf property would be appointed in the three regions of the state to protect them.

Accusing the TDP of adopting ''double standards'', he said it was only during the TDP regime that over 4000 acres of Wakf land were given at a nominal price to IT majors like Infosys, Microsoft, Wipro and Polaris as also to the International School of Business.

It was highly improper on the part of the TDP now to politicise the issue, he added. Only 100 acres of Wakf land had been sold by the present Government after holding open auctions, he pointed out.

The Government was making earnest efforts to implement the recomendations of the House Committee on the issue, he said.

He informed the House that there were 1,45,543.94 acres of wakf lands worth Rs 2000 crore in the state.

Earlier, TDP Legislature Party Deputy leader T Devender Goud questioned the state government for giving wakf land to a company owned by a Congress MP.

AIMIM Floor Leader Akbaruddin Owaisi alleged that the Congress government was competing with the previous TDP government in selling wakf lands at a throw-away price to domestic and foreign companies.


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