A controversy has erupted over Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Tammineni Sitaram’s remark that the judiciary was interfering in the policy decisions of the elected government in the state.
In a sharp criticism of the judiciary, the Speaker told reporters at the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirupati on Thursday (July 2) that the courts are trespassing the powers of the popularly elected government. The courts must respect the people’s mandate, he said.
“If courts are dictating orders that you do this, you do that, you stop this, you go there… what for are people, elections, votes, MLAs, MPs? Why do we need a Legislative Assembly? Why elect a Chief Minister or a Speaker? Why all this?” Sitaram asked. He said that intellectuals should debate over this.
The outburst had come in the backdrop of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government suffering setbacks with the Andhra Pradesh High Court annulling several of its decisions in recent verdicts, which includes ordering a CBI probe into the assault on a Dalit doctor and reinstatement of a retired IAS officer as the state election commissioner.
“We are going ahead with all respect to the Constitution. If our (government’s) decisions are wrong, people will defeat us in the elections,” he added.
He also lashed out at the opposition Telugu Desam Party for not passing the Appropriation Bill in the Legislative Council. “Will you stall a money bill? You have nothing to do, so you are doing such nasty things,” he charged.
“The government could not pay salaries to its staff for June due to non-passage of the Appropriation Bill that clears the state’s annual budget, but has said the process would be completed this week. You have a responsibility to the people,” the Speaker reminded the TDP.