Veteran legislator Tammineni Sitaram was on Thursday unanimously elected Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
Sitaram, who has been elected to the Assembly for a sixth term, currently represents Amudalavalasa constituency in Srikakulam district on behalf of the ruling YSR Congress.
Pro-Tem Speaker S V C Appalanaidu announced the election of Sitaram in the House this morning.
Leader of the House Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and other YSRC MLAs then escorted Sitaram to the Speaker’s chair and congratulated him.
Telugu Desam Party Deputy Leader in the House K Atchannaidu also followed Sitaram to the Chair. However, the YSRC legislators found fault with TDP Legislature Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu for not following the tradition of escorting the new Speaker to the Chair.
Sitaram began his political career in the TDP and was elected to the Assembly in 1983, 1985, 1991, 1994 and 1999.
He served as minister in Chandrababu Naidu’s cabinet, holding Excise, Information and Public Relations, Tourism and Municipal Administration portfolios.
In 2009, he joined the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) of actor Chiranjeevi but lost the election.
He returned to the TDP after the PRP was merged with the Congress in 2012 but a few months later jumped over to the YSRC.
He was unsuccessful in the 2014 election too but triumphed in the last election.
The Leader of the House, Leader of Opposition and many MLAs addressed the House congratulating Sitaram on assuming the Speaker’s post.
Sitaram announced that Chandrababu Naidu, by virtue of being leader of the second largest party in the House, was recognised as Leader of the Opposition.
The TDP has 23 MLAs in the 175-member House.