Ministers leave hall in the midst to go to Pulivendula raising the hackles of Hanumantha Rao

HYDERABAD: A spat between two senior Congress leaders V. Hanumantha Rao and K.V. P. Ramachandra Rao marred a meeting convened by the A.P. Congress Committee with the newly elected corporators of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation here on Monday.

The spat between the two senior leaders in the presence of Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and APCC president D. Srinivas surprised the large number of APCC office-bearers, Ministers and legislators who were present there.

Sources said it all started off when some Ministers – Botcha Satyanarayana, N. Raghuveera Reddy and Balineni Srinivasa Reddy left the committee hall in midst of a meeting. They were apparently planning to go to Pulivendula to attend the filing of nomination by former Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s wife Vijayalakshmi on Tuesday.

Mr. Hanumantha Rao, while addressing the gathering, took serious exception to the Minister’s decision to go out even as the Chief Minister and the APCC chief were still around. “When the Chief Minister is implementing all the programmes initiated by late Rajasekhara Reddy, does it look nice to leave the meeting hall abruptly?” he is said to have remarked.

“If YSR was alive, would these Ministers have dared to go like this?” he pointed out in an agitated tone. Dr. Ramachandra Rao, who was seated on the dais, retorted saying that the Ministers have informed the responsible persons before leaving the place.

To this, Mr. Rao reportedly flew into rage questioning the dominance of Dr. Ramachandra Rao during YSR’s regime and now also. He reminded YSR’s close aide that the latter was nothing when he had served as the AP Youth Congress president. Dr. Rao said: “I do not need to learn from you.” As the two leaders continued the war of words, the APCC president intervened to tell Mr. Rao that a decision had been taken to send Ministers to Pulivendula and they had taken prior permission. Realising his hasty comments, Mr. Rao said he would withdraw his words if the Ministers have left for Pulivendula.