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Updated: January 22, 2014 10:27 IST

KTR’s remark on statues sparks row

Special Correspondent
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K Tarakarama Rao. Photo: M. Murali
The Hindu
K Tarakarama Rao. Photo: M. Murali

‘I need not learn about culture from those who openly insulted NTR’

A remark by TRS legislator, K.T. Rama Rao describing the statues of eminent Telugus and others erected on Tank Bund as “earthen statues” ( matti bommalu) triggered a furore in the Assembly with the TDP members rushing to the podium and demanding an apology from the member, who refused to oblige them.

While participating in the debate on the AP Reorganisation Bill, Mr. Rao faulted the Seemandhra leaders for showing concern about the statues which were vandalised (during the Million March), while not bothering about the suicides by nearly 1,000 youth in Telangana for the cause of a separate State. Protesting against his remarks, Congress member, Vanga Geetha rushed into the well and argued with Deputy Speaker Bhatti Vikramarka, who was in the Chair.

Heated exchanges

TDP members too followed suit and raised slogans demanding an apology from the member. As the din continued in spite of appeals from the Chair, Mr. Vikramarka adjourned the House for about 30 minutes.

Earlier, the issue led to heated exchanges between Labour Minister D. Nagender and D.Narendra (TDP). Ms. Geetha said the statues of the eminent persons were symbols of the Telugu society. Government Chief Whip Gandra Venkataramana Reddy said the term used by Mr..Rama Rao was improper and condemned the vandalising of the statues of former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi by agitators in Seemandhra.

After the House reassembled, Legislative Affairs Minister S. Sailajanath urged Mr. Rama Rao to amend his remarks even as TDP members again rushed to the podium and raised slogans. CPI, CPI(M) and BJP members urged Mr. Rao to withdraw his remarks.

Mr. Narendra said the statues of Rani Rudrama Devi, Maqdoom Moinuddin, Suravaram Pratap Reddy and Pothana were also among those erected. Well-known Telugu poet C. Narayana Reddy was the chairman of the committee which decided on the statues, while TRS leader K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who was formerly in the TDP, was a member of it. Asking if this was his culture, Mr. Narendra said the House had appealed in the past to students in both regions not to end their lives.

Hitting out at TDP members, Mr. Rama Rao said he need not learn about culture from those who threw slippers on late N.T. Rama Rao (when he was dethroned in a revolt led by N. Chandrababu Naidu in 1995) and asked them to first apologise for that action.

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