Special Correspondent

Devender Goud's remarks trigger protest

  • Congress MLA Ramakrishna Reddy charges Mr. Goud with land grabbing
  • Mr. Goud challenges Congress to prove charge
  • Speaker asks both members to apologise for passing personal remarks
  • Chief Minister terms it a `black day' in democracy

    HYDERABAD: Acrimonious exchanges bordering on caste and personal traits sidetracked the debate on the controversy surrounding land acquisition for Outer Ring Road and other projects in and around Hyderabad in the Assembly on Wednesday.

    Provoked by a snide remark by Congress members suggesting that he talk about the large extent of land in his native Tukkuguda village in Ranga Reddy district saw Telugu Desam member T. Devender Goud mounting an attack on Congress MLA Challa Ramakrishna Reddy. "Yes I own the land. Is it wrong to own a property? It is ancestral property and I did not acquire it by committing theft or murder or doing rowdyism or goondaism like you. It speaks of your feudal mentality," he said furiously.

    Apology demanded

    Congress members protested noisily and asked Mr. Goud to tender an apology. Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy who moved to the front rows twice, charged Mr. Goud with grabbing 2,000 acres of land in Ranga Reddy district when he was the Home Minister. It was Telugu Desam members' turn to demand that Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy express regrets. Mr. Goud challenged the Government to prove the charge. Another round of heated exchanges and challenges followed between them some in the name of their respective castes.

    The Speaker, K. R. Suresh Reddy tried to bring order by asking both to express regrets for exchanging personal allegations.

    When both sides refused to oblige, he said he would set the record straight by expunging their remarks after going through the records.

    YSR intervenes

    At one stage the Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy intervened to appeal to Mr. Goud to express regrets for describing a colleague in unparliamentary language.

    "In my 28 years in the Assembly and Parliament, I have not seen a member passing such derogatory remarks against another member. I am really dazed. It is a black day for democracy."

    When Legislative Affairs Minister K. Rosaiah, read out the controversial remarks made by Mr. Goud from the Assembly records, Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu charged him with reading excerpts that were convenient to the ruling party.

    "He is not saying a word about how the Congress members provoked Mr. Goud. Chief Minister is himself asking the Chief Whip and others to mount a counter attack."

    With both treasury and Opposition benches adopting strident postures, the Speaker adjourned the House till evening.