HYDERABAD/VISAKHAPATNAM: In a significant departure from convention, Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar on Wednesday said he wanted the legislature to suggest programmes and initiatives that the government could take up for the welfare of the people.
The Assembly's role, hitherto, has been confined to making legislation and discussing the issues related to people on the floor of the House to draw the government's attention. But the legislature taking the initiative of making suggestions after studying the problems of the people is being viewed as something new.
The Speaker made the statement while addressing a group of 100 first time legislators, including about 15 MLCs, to Araku Valley. For the last two days, they studied the life of tribals and their problems. The legislators mixed with the tribals, dancing and dining with them.
The Speaker wanted the government to spend `5,000 crore for the welfare of the tribals. The money should go towards road connectivity, horticulture, health infrastructure and employment. Manohar announced the package as the main theme of 'Araku declaration'
The Speaker also wanted IAS officers be posted as ITDA project officers. As regards the contentious bauxite mining in the Agency area, Manohar wanted the government to discuss the issue with all stake holders before taking a decision. A video of the proceedings of the study tour would be screened for other MLAs who did not turn up.
The initiative of the Speaker in taking the legislators on a study tour is being seen as an attempt to get closer to a good number of legislators. But the opposition parties are reading more into it. TDP deputy floor leader Gali Muddu Krishnama Naidu sees in the enthusiasm of the Speaker an attempt to emerge as an alternative to the chief minister.