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Goud-YSR spat over `raw deal'

Special Correspondent


HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam deputy leader T. Devender Goud locked horns with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in the Assembly on Thursday over the alleged injustice to Telangana culminating in a sit-in by his party members near the podium.

Raising the issue during question hour, Mr. Goud alleged that the Chief Minister had ignored the second part of the Pranahita-Yellampalli-Chevella project on the plea that of insufficient funds. In contrast, he had ordered construction of canals for Polavaram project even before work on the dam had begun.

Members' dharna

Even as he was speaking, the TDP member's microphone was cut off. Upon this, party members staged a dharna near the podium forcing Speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy to adjourn the House for some time.

Mr. Goud expressed anguish that the mike was switched off when he was dealing with `life and death' issue of the region. Dr. Reddy retorted that the TDP member had realised the gravity of the problem after being in power for nine years. Denying any discrimination against Telangana, he said, in fact, the Government had given preferential treatment to the region.

Dr. Reddy pointed out that a lion's share (Rs. 1,893 crores) out of the amount of Rs. 3,331 crores spent on irrigation during 2004-05 had gone to Telangana. In comparison, the amount spent in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema was Rs. 722 crores and Rs. 716 crores respectively. It was not much different during the first six months of the current year.

Challenging these figures, Mr. Goud claimed that higher allocations to Telangana were made when the TDP was in power. He offered to quit politics if proved wrong.

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