Special Correspondent

Majlis leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s remark raises the hackles of CPI(M) and Telugu Desam Party

CPI (M) members stormed the podium twice

Owaisi praises the Congress Government

HYDERABAD: A wordy duel over Left parties’ land struggle divided parties along political affiliations in the Assembly on Friday, with Telugu Desam sailing with the CPI (M) and the Congress strongly rallying behind the MIM.

CPI (M) members stormed the podium twice demanding withdrawal of a remark made by MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi that “Bhooporatam” of Left parties was a “big racket” with “thousands of rupees” being collected from the poor on the promise of providing house-sites.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi sprang a surprise by indirectly taking the side of the Congress and blaming the Left for failure to do anything at the national level for land distribution, despite being supporters of the United Progressive Alliance Government.

Its leader G. Vijayarama Rao demanded a probe into the charge made by Mr Owaisi.

Participating in the debate, Mr. Akbaruddin Owaisi praised the Rajasekhara Reddy Government for distributing 4 lakh acres so far and lambasted the Telugu Desam for doing precious little on this front.

He pushed the Communist Party of India (Marxist) into the defensive stating that the West Bengal Government, instead of distributing, grabbed land from the poor.

Gesticulations

Tempers ran high with Thammineni Veerabhadram and M. A. Gafoor, both CPI-(M), coming face to face with Mr Owaisi after menacingly rushing towards him with gesticulations, demanding withdrawal of his remarks.

CPI(M) leader N. Narsimhaiah said the remark only demonstrated how little Mr Owaisi’s knew about the Left movements. He sought to know if Mr Owaisi’s tirade against the Left was due to erosion of the MIM vote bank in the old city of Hyderabad where his party stepped in. He blamed that MIM was thriving on the poor Muslims using religion, and “on sale of seats” meant for minorities.

T. Devender Goud joined the issue saying that “Bhooporatam” was a genuine struggle and one should not stoop down to throwing mud at “credible political parties”. Intervening, Agriculture Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy blamed Mr. Goud for being “opportunistic”, recalling how the TDP, while in power, dubbed any Left agitation as aiming at money. He wanted to know if TDP exhibited similar pain when the Left made baseless charges against the Government on daily basis. TD members rushed to the podium this time, but the trouble came to an end with the Speaker asking BJP’s Kishen Reddy to speak.