Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and T. Harish Rao of Telangana Rashtra Samithi crossed swords in the Assembly on Friday over the latter’s allegation of step-motherly treatment meted out to the Telangana region in terms of sanctioning of schemes and funds.

It all started when Mr. Rao, who initiated the debate on the no-confidence motion against the government tabled by his party, contended that discrimination towards Telangana continued and it was only after the people of the region, by way of agitations, held the government by its collar that some funds and schemes were sanctioned.

Mr. Reddy angrily objected to the word “collar” used by him and advised Mr. Rao not to speak like a street-rowdy. “Are you a street-rowdy? We sanctioned funds to the region not out of fear of any one but as per its requirements. I was brought up and grew in Hyderabad. None can threaten me. I won’t cow down before any one. If you feel that schemes are sanctioned because some one held the government by its collar, I will not hereafter sanction a rupee to the region. Come what may. Do whatever you like,” he declared. At this stage, TRS members rushed to the well of the House while their Congress counterparts stood up.

Mr. Harish Rao said what he meant was that agitations by Telangana people amounted to pulling up the government. Mr. Reddy contended that the using of the word conveyed a meaning that some one held him by its collar and said he would withdraw his remark if he was hurt. Mr. Rao also withdrew his remark.

The Chief Minister questioned the claim made by Mr. Rao that when Telangana Rashtra Samiti demanded Telangana State, it only reflected the will of region’s people. Congress which had about 50 MLAs in the region compared to mere 17 of the TRS, indeed, commanded a larger and true will of people.

Harish defends

Mr. Rao said his party had served the no-trust move under unavoidable circumstances as the Congress deceived Telangana people and its government failed on all fronts, citing power cuts. He appealed to the Telugu Desam party to back the motion, recalling various anti-government statements made by N. Chandrababu Naidu.