YSR Congress MLA R.K. Roja who was suspended from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for a year on Friday told the media that she would move the High Court challenging speaker K. Sivaprasada Rao’s ruling. According to her, the speaker has no powers to suspend a member for a period when the House is not in session. She was suspended during a debate in the House on the “call money-cum-sex racket” issue in AP.
The actress-turned-legislator who entered the Assembly premises on Saturday morning was arrested by the police as the Assembly marshals handed her over to them after an altercation. Roja came to the Assembly premises and was speaking to the media when the marshals objected to her presence there and asked her to leave at once.
Roja refused and announced that she would move the High Court challenging the speaker’s decision to suspend her for a year. “The speaker has no right to suspend a member when the House was not in session and the current winter session of AP Assembly would end by Tuesday; so where is the question of the speaker suspending me?” she asked.
Roja argued with the marshals that she came to the Assembly premises to sit at the YSRCP legislature party office, but not to enter the House. Still, the marshals told her that she cannot enter the premises of the Assembly without the permission of the speaker. Roja fell down and swooned as the marshals, with the help of cops, tried to physically evict her from the premises.
Later, she was admitted to the NIMS hospital where a large number of YSR Congress MLAs, including party president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, came to see her. At the hospital, Jagan addressed a gathering and declared that the party would stand by Roja in her legal and political battle. “She has done nothing wrong, she only exposed the role of the Chief Minister and the ruling TDP in the call money and sex racket,” said Jagan.
Roja’s remarks on Friday that Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was involved in the call money-cum-sex racket plunged the House into chaotic scenes. Her derogatory comment on Chandrababu Naidu provoked Legislative Affairs Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu to move a motion seeking her suspension from the House for one year.
Jagan said that a speaker has no powers to suspend a member for a period of one year as that goes against the spirit of the Constitution. “The ruling TDP is resorting to this type of suppressive tactics to silence the opposition. We will move a privilege motion against speaker Sivaprasada Rao on Monday,” Jagan said.
However, minister Ramakrishnudu told the media later on Saturday that there were precedents of the Assembly speaker suspending members for longer periods. “In Maharashtra, the Assembly speaker suspended five Congress MLAs for two years when they created ruckus in the House and injured the Governor,” he said.