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`Portrait fear' haunts Yanamala

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, JULY 29. The former Finance Minister, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, on Thursday sought `protection' to the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi fixed in the Assembly above the Speaker's podium expressing fears that it would be replaced in view of the State Government's move to equate the Congress president Sonia Gandhi with Mao, Krushchev and Mother Teresa.

Initiating debate on the Appropriation Bill, he referred to the Government's decision to publish the pictures of Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi in its advertisements spending public money describing it `waste'.

The senior Telugu Desam Party member objected to the portrait of Rajiv Gandhi seeking to know his status. If his picture was used on the basis of being the former Prime Minister, why the same logic was not applied for using the portraits of Lal Bahadur Shastri, P.V. Narasimha Rao, former Prime Ministers, and the incumbent, Manmohan Singh, who had the distinction of initiating the economic reforms, he questioned amid interruption by Congress members. He contended that protocol was ignored by the Government when it did not carry the picture of the Prime Minister in its advertisements.

Charge against Congress

The former Minister charged the Congress with cheating the public by promising `Indiramma rajyam' before the Assembly elections, but ignoring it after coming to power. Even her portrait did not figure in the Government advertisements.

Remarks decried

Kommareddy Ramulu (Janata Dal) objected to the mention of Sonia Gandhi's name by Mr. Ramakrishnudu on the ground that her permission had to be taken as she was a member of the Lok Sabha. The member wanted him to either withdraw the mention or tender an apology. Concurring with him, the Speaker, K.R. Suresh Reddy, counselled the TDP member to observe restraint.

Hitting back at Mr. Ramakrishnudu, the Finance Minister, K. Rosaiah, wondered why the TDP Government thought it fit to allot 24 acres and spend Rs. 54 crores on developing the NTR ghat in the heart of the city. To this the TDP reply was that the city also had parks named after several former Chief Ministers.

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