Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Describing the ongoing Assembly session as "a test'' for the Government, he said the Congress had miserably failed to implement its threat during the budget session to put the ruling party on the mat because the TDP had effectively conveyed the truth to people. Its designs would meet a similar fate now. Addressing a meeting of the Telugu Desam Legislature Party (TDLP), he said the TDP enjoyed public credibility as it did not crave for power. With 42 MPs, it was the second largest party among the NDA constituents and supporters and yet it had resolved to serve people from outside instead of sharing power at the Centre.
Mr. Naidu said Abdul Kareem Telgi, prime accused in the inter-State fake stamp paper scam, was born in Karnataka and grew up there while he began his illegal operations in Maharashtra. Therefore, it was not as if the scam was confined to Andhra Pradesh. The TDP had promptly expelled C. Krishna Yadav, MLA, from the party when his links with Telgi were established through a taped conversation between them.
The TDP chief said he had asked the media not to tarnish the image of TDP MLAs without possessing evidence of their involvement in the stamp paper scam. "We have taken action in the past and we will not hesitate to act now if there is any evidence against anyone. We have already arrested 42 persons in connection with the scam,'' he said.
He pointed out that unlike Andhra Pradesh, the Governments of Karnataka and Maharashtra were wary of requesting the Centre to order a CBI probe into the scam when the revenue loss in these two States was much higher. The Congress in Andhra Pradesh had no moral right to criticise the TDP regime since it was "born and brought up in scams.
Touching upon other controversies likely to figure in the Assembly session, he maintained that there was no legal binding upon the Government to remove the Housing Minister, P. Ramasubba Reddy, from the Cabinet following the High Court's adverse remarks against him. He asserted that the Government had given a good account of itself in the recent spurious liquor scam by promptly nabbing the culprits.
His hour-long speech was marked by a bitter attack against the Congress.
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