Heated debate in Andhra assembly over aqua plant incident

Amaravati, March 31: Andhra Pradesh state legislative assembly was Friday adjourned sine die.

The last day of the budget session saw heated arguments between the ruling and opposition parties over Thursday’s incident at an aqua food processing plant in West Godavari district, in which five workers died after inhaling toxic gas ammonia.

Demanding justice for the families of the victims, the members of lone opposition YSR Congress party surrounding the speaker’s chamber, leading to utter pandemonium. Amid the din, Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao adjourned the House sine die.

Earlier, making a statement on the incident, Labour Minister Atchan Naidu said the plant was using the latest methods for treatment of the effluents. He assured the House that if the management was found negligent, action will be taken against them.

He also announced Rs.25 lakh compensation each for the families of the victims.

The minister castigated YSRCP for politicizing every issue and for linking Thursday’s incident with the Godavari aqua food park being set up in West Godavari district by Ananda Group.

Thursday’s incident occurred at shrimp processing factory run by the same group at Mogalturu.

Leader of opposition Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy alleged that the company was not maintaining safety standards, which led the death of five workers.

There was bitter war of words between the minister and YSR Congress chief. Jagan remarked that the minister can’t speak English. To this, Atchan Naidu said he did not study in corporate school and rose from grass-root level to reach this position.

The minister said Jagan faced some allegations while he was studying and he should respond. Stating that Jagan is trying to compare himself with Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in every issue, the minister said he could never reach his status.

Jagan hit back to challenge the government to probe allegations against him. He pointed out that he won Kadapa Lok Sabha seat with majority of 5.40 lakh votes and said even if Chandrababu Naidu stands upside down, he can’t get this majority.

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