CAG letter to CM rocks Assembly, Oppn stages walkout

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Hyderabad, Sep 4 (UNI) The Andhra Pradesh Assembly today witnessed a heated debate between ruling Congress and opposition parties over Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai's letter to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on alleged ''irregularities'' in the implementation of major irrigation projects in the state, leading to disruption of House proceedings and walkouts by opposition parties.

While the main opposition Telugu Desam Party stalled the proceedings demanding that all files related to irrigation projects be placed in the House and Telangana Rashtra Samiti(TRS), CPI CPI(M) and the BJP staged walkouts.

Dissatisified with Irrigation Minister P Lakshmaiah's reply to a question on implementation of 65 major irrigation projects at a cost of over 1,00,000 crore, TDP members stalled the proceedings, leading to brief adjournment of the House by the Speaker, who convened a meeting of the floor leaders to break the impasse.

When the House reassembled, Mr Naidu left the House in a huff along with the TDP members as Panel Speaker N Manohar did not not give him the mike to register his protest.

Earlier, the Speaker expunged a personal allegation made by Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu against Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on the implementation of projects, without giving notice.

After heated exchanges between the ruling and opposition party members, the Speaker made it clear that he wanted to put an end to the matter and the opposition parties were free to register their protest.

While TRS floor leader E Rajender, CPI floor leader Ch Venkata Reddy, CPI(M) floor leader N Narasimaiah, BJP Legislature Party leader G Kishan Reddy led their party colleagues out of the House in protest against the government for allegedly colluding with the contractors, the TDP members stalled the proceedings to press their demand.

Mr Naidu contended that the government was taking lightly ''strictures'' passed by the highest constitutional authority.

The Government had issued memo 5217 ''heavily loaded'' in favour of the contractors.

Turning down the opposition demand for putting the files before the Speaker, Irrigation Minister P Lakshmaiah maintained that no amount had been paid to contractors in violation of agreement conditions. The TDP, which did not not take up any major irrigation project during its regime, had no no moral right to speak on the issue, he charged.

The government had completed 12 project to provide irrigation to 14.50 lakh acre and was all set to provide irrigation to another 12 lakh acres this year, the minister informed.

When TDP legislator and Public Accounts Committee Chairman Y Ramakrishnudu complained to the Speaker that not even copies of the files relating to Yellampalli project had been provided, the Speaker said certified copies would be provided soon.

UNI SM VV SV AS1746

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