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Ugly scenes at martyrs meeting

Ravi Reddy
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Spat between IT Minister Komatireddy Venkata Reddy and Damodar Reddy

Wordy duel: Bhongir MP K. Rajagopal Reddy trying to calm down MLA R. Damodar Reddy at the Telangana martyrs meeting at Bhongir on Sunday. — Photo: Singam Venkata Ramana
Wordy duel: Bhongir MP K. Rajagopal Reddy trying to calm down MLA R. Damodar Reddy at the Telangana martyrs meeting at Bhongir on Sunday. — Photo: Singam Venkata Ramana

An ugly showdown between Information Technology Minister Komatireddy Venkata Reddy and former Minister R.Damodar Reddy marred the Telangana Martyrs memorial meeting convened here on Sunday.

A group of slogan shouting workers carrying former Chief Minister Y.S.Rajasekhara Reddy's pictures held up the meeting for 10 minutes sparking off angry gestures from some leaders. Mr. Venkata Reddy made an appeal to them to keep quiet as everyone had high regard for the late leader.

While urging the police not to use force on the workers, he remarked that none could forget the contribution of YSR towards the development of backward Telangana. He said even after a separate State was created, every household in the region would have a picture of YSR.

Taking umbrage at his remarks, Mr. Damodar Reddy got up and entered into a wordy duel with the Minister. Bhongir MP K. Rajagopal Reddy and former Minister K. Jana Reddy tried to pacify the two leaders and ensured that the situation did not get out of hand. The Minister later denounced Mr. Damodar Reddy's conduct.

At the meeting, Congress leaders vowed to take the statehood issue to a logical conclusion.While some wanted the Centre to expedite the process after submission of the Justice Srikrishna Committee report, others favoured a struggle to achieve a separate State.

Mr. Damodar Reddy threatened to launch a “Telangana brigade” with one lakh students and youth to carry on the struggle for statehood. Nalgonda MP Gutha Sukhender Reddy equated “exploiters” from other regions with ‘demons'.

V. Hanumantha Rao and V. Purushotham Reddy cautioned Congress men that people of Telangana would not spare them if anyone tried to play with their sentiments. CWC member K. Keshava Rao said he was not against the Polavaram project but wanted its design changed so that tribals were not affected. Party leaders Palvai Goverdhan Reddy, K.Jana Reddy, Mallu Ravi, G.Vivekananda, Basawaraj Saraiah and N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and others spoke.

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