The budget session of the AP Assembly is scheduled to begin on March 5 and Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu would table the 2018-19 budget on March 8. This is likely to be the last budget for this government as elections are due in early 2019. Interestingly, this would be the last but one session of the Assembly as there would be another session any time between June and December.
The Opposition YSR Congress had boycotted the last session on the charge of inaction by the Speaker in taking action against the MLAs defected to the ruling party. The YSR Congress had filed a petition with the Speaker seeking action against its 23 MLAs who have crossed the fence and joined the ruling Telugu Desam Party. But the speaker did not take action forcing the party to approach the Supreme Court.
The YSR Congress is upset with the defections and the efforts of the ruling party to eliminate the Opposition. It is for this reason, the party had boycotted the session last time. The boycott also came handy for the Opposition as Jagan Mohan Reddy had, by then, launched his prestigious Praja Sankalpa Yatra and wanted his MLAs and MLCs to be available for him in mobilising peoples support for his marathon walk.
Now that the marathon walk is continuing and it might take a few more months to be closed and the budget session would start on March 5, all eyes are on Jagan Mohan Reddy’s decision. The discussions are now around whether the YSR Congress would attend the budget session or would continue to boycott it. Jagan Mohan Reddy is said to be unwilling to break his yatra for the session. He is already giving a break to the walk on every Friday to attend the CBI court in Hyderabad. If he also gives a break to the walk to attend the Assembly session, the yatra would have to be extended and the tempo being built up would die.
At the same time, he is not ready to allow his MLAs and MLCs to attend the session when he is not present. Jagan Mohan Reddy feels that the ruling TDP would target his MLAs and MLCs in his absence and the speaker too would not give much chance to the MLAs. This would cause major damage to the party in the Assembly as people would be watching the proceedings live.
However, it is to be seen what decision Jagan Mohan Reddy would take as the dates are fast approaching. The lobbies of the Assembly are witnessing discussions about the possible decision of Jagan Mohan Reddy.