N Balakrishna continued his protest today by blowing a whistle inside the assembly.
A day after his provocative gesture challenging Irrigation Minister A Rambabu to a confrontation raised a storm in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA and actor Nandamuri Balakrishna pulled off yet another stunt.
Fourteen TDP MLAs, including Mr Balakrishna and two rebel YSRCP MLAs were suspended from the Andhra Pradesh assembly for one day yesterday for disrupting proceedings in protest of the arrest of their party's national president and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in an alleged skill development scam.
Picking up where he left off, Mr Balakrishna continued his protest today by blowing a whistle inside the Andhra Pradesh assembly. As soon as the question hour began, TDP MLAs swarmed the Speaker's podium, surrounding Tammineni Sitaram. As a result, two TDP MLAs were suspended for the entirety of the assembly session today. Following their suspension, all TDP MLAs decided to boycott rest of the session.
The MLAs chanted slogans demanding the withdrawal of cases against Mr Naidu and asked for a discussion on the matter. In response, Andhra Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath slammed the protesting MLAs, and urged them to maintain decorum.
"The ruckus in the assembly had started by YSRCP leaders. We are fighting for justice. Chandrababu Naidu was illegally arrested," Mr Balakrishna said yesterday, as quoted by news agency ANI.
Another TDP MLA, Angani Satya Prasad, yesterday accused Andhra Pradesh assembly speaker Thammineni Seetharam of being "biased".
"Today in Assembly, we were asking about the undemocratic arrest of our leader Chandrababu Naidu. We are fighting to withdraw all the cases as they are illegal and also there is no trail about the money which has been told by CID and ACB... The Speaker is totally biased and he did not even listen to our plea." Mr Prasad said.
The Crime Investigation Department (CID) arrested Mr Naidu on September 9 in connection with an alleged Skill Development Corporation scam. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in Vijayawada sent him to judicial custody for 14 days, until September 22, which was further extended by two days till September 24.
According to the CID, Mr Naidu was the principal conspirator and "accused no 1" in a Rs 371 crore skill development scam.
In a major setback for Mr Naidu, the Andhra Pradesh High Court today dismissed his petition seeking to quash the FIR against him. Mr Naidu is likely to challenge the High Court's order in the Supreme Court on Monday.
The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in Vijayawada is likely to pronounce its orders on the CID's plea for five-day custody of Naidu at 2:30 pm today.