Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Continuing the debate on the issue in the evening, the Congress members insisted that the Government scrap the GO Ms 70 issued recently on the tapping of water from Akkampally reservoir for serving the drinking water needs of the twin cities. However, with the Government refusing to budge, the Congress members staged a noisy walk-out from the House.
The leader of the Congress Legislature Party, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, criticised the Minister for Panchayat Raj, N. Janardhan Reddy, for describing the ongoing fast by the Nalgonda Congress legislator, K. Venkata Reddy, as a `drama' aimed at getting political mileage.
Dr. Reddy also took strong objection to what he called the `double standard' adopted by the Chair in not allowing opposition members seek clarifications from Ministers on major issues. This was amply evident from the abrupt adjournment of the House by the Chair twice during the day, he said.
The CLP leader's remarks, however, irked ruling party members who took objection to Dr. Reddy casting aspersion on the Chair. "It is unfortunate that the CLP leader in his remarks went ahead with casting aspersions on the Chair,'' the Minister for Revenue, P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, said urging the panel speaker, M.V. Krishna Rao, who was chairing the proceedings, to refer the matter to the Committee of Privileges.
The panel speaker accepted the suggestion that the matter be referred to the Privileges Committee.
APPSC under fire
Earlier during question time, members belonging to the Congress and the CPI(M) staged a walk-out in protest against stoppage of recruitment by the Government.
They resented that recruitment was stopped at a time when there were an estimated 35 lakh candidates on the live registers of employment exchanges in the State.
The walk-out was triggered by the reply given by the Revenue Minister, P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, deputising for the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, to a question tabled by Ch. Ramakrishna Reddy of the Congress and others regarding the working of the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission.
Through the poser, the member questioned the very logic of the Government continuing such an "irresponsible and thickskinned'' agency as APPSC, alleging that it had become blind to the needs of the unemployed in whose name it was existing. Going by the Minister's statement, Mr. Reddy made a scathing attack on the commission affairs, charging that it was able to fill only 3,232 vacancies in the past five years while a whopping Rs. 10 crores was spent yearly on its establishment etc.
He was particularly pained that the commission was not notifying vacancies though 10,000 posts were vacant right now and that when exams for Group I and II services were taken up, they were held only at Hyderabad by scrapping other centres in the State, depriving the poorer sections and the disabled of a chance to write the examination. The Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, joined him, pulling up the Government for merging the College Service Commission with the APPSC `for nothing.'
The Revenue Minister dubbed the member's information "misleading'' as, he said, 1,46,299 posts were filled during the period in question, including 3,232 posts through the commission.
Mr Raju disagreed with the Congress member and N. Narsimhaiah of the CPI-(M) saying that the Government was not totally against recruitment but it was averse to `indiscriminate' filling.
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