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Reprehensible action: Naidu

Special Correspondent


Viveka has plunged the Andhra Pradesh Assembly's record to a new low, says TDP chief

‘TDP did not become emotional in the House even when party leaders were brutally murdered'




Venting ire: TDP activists burning a poster of Minister for Agriculture Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy in Vijayawada on Monday.

HYDERABAD: Leader of the Opposition in Assembly N. Chandrababu Naidu on Monday said he had never seen during his 32-year- long political career a Minister, who is also the leader of the Legislative Council, assaulting members in the House.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Naidu said the Minister Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy, by his behaviour, has plunged the Andhra Pradesh Assembly's record to a new low. Even States that have witnessed violent scenes such as Bihar, Karnataka and Orissa look much better than Andhra Pradesh now. What is this rowdyism, he sought to know.

He said the TDP did not become emotional in the House even when the party leaders like former Ministers Paritala Ravi and P. Siva Reddy were brutally murdered. Nor was it provoking the ruling party as was the case when the Congress was in Opposition. People would decide who was right and who was wrong.

He wondered why the Minister got so upset when not just the TDP, but all other Opposition parties had highlighted the irregularities in the land allotments and demanded a House Committee probe. TDP had already offered to face the probe on allotments made during its regime.

At another press conference, deputy leader P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju and other MLAs castigated the Minister and the MLAs belonging to the former Kadapa MP, Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy for attacking them. Mr. Raju said if he were the Chief Minister, he would have dismissed the Minister in five minutes.

Money in polls

Later delivering the Badrivishal Pitti Memorial lecture here on Monday, Mr. Naidu said that huge amounts of money were spent by contesting candidates in the recent elections to Legislative Council. The candidates from local bodies quota spent Rs. 10 crore to Rs. 15 crore after paying up to Rs. 15 lakh for each vote, he alleged . A lot of easy money earned by irregular land settlements and other unlawful means was finding its way into politics. Bhanu Kiran, a suspect in the recent murder of his mentor Maddelacheruvu Suri, had earned Rs. 1,000 crore in land transactions while Suri was in jail, he added.

Mr. Naidu said that illegal money and corruption were the biggest challenges to the country's growth as a super power. “The present trend of lawlessness will continue if a government which tolerated corruption is elected.”

He expressed his happiness that the judiciary was playing an effective role in countering corruption.

The meeting was also addressed by Badrivishal Pitti's son Sharad B. Pitti.

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