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Unveiling of YSR portrait triggers row

Special Correspondent
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It has belittled contribution of leaders like PV, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy and NTR: Naidu

Rich tribute: Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and Speaker N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at the unveiling of a portrait of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in the Assembly lobbies on Thursday.
Rich tribute: Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and Speaker N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at the unveiling of a portrait of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in the Assembly lobbies on Thursday.

The unveiling of a huge portrait of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy in the Assembly lobbies has kicked up a row on Thursday with Leader of the Opposition, N. Chandrababu Naidu, accusing the government with turning the hallowed precincts into ruling party's headquarters, Gandhi Bhavan.

By giving such prominence to a former Chief Minister, the contribution of his predecessors has been belittled. One of them, P. V. Narasimha Rao went on to become the Prime Minister while another, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, the President, he said.

There were others like former Chief Minister N. T. Rama Rao and tall leaders like Puchalapalli Sundarayya whose contribution to the State's development was immense. When such stalwarts have no place how could Dr. Reddy only find a place. “A wrong precedent has been set”.

Moreover well laid out rules and procedures of the Assembly had been violated and political parties not taken into confidence, Mr. Naidu said. Referring to the Speaker, Kiran Kumar Reddy's contention that he had the authority to allow the portrait, he said, “the Assembly is not anybody's jagir”.

The strategically placed portrait of Dr. Reddy dominates the largest lobby in the Assembly dwarfing the photographs of the former Speakers and those of Jawaharlal Nehru and Ambedkar. It was unveiled by the Speaker in the presence of the Chief Minister, K. Rosaiah, and the Council chairman, A. Chakrapani. Telugu Desam members boycotted the function in protest.

Speaker retorts

When the issue was raised in the House by TDP member, G. Muddukrishnama Naidu during zero hour, the Speaker admonished him for questioning his authority. “You are crossing your limit. Don't talk to Speaker like that”, he chastised the member. He said his decision was well within rules.

In the Council, Leader of Opposition Dadi Veerabhadra Rao took exception to the placing of the portrait as well as the birth anniversary celebrations on the Assembly premises. But PR leader, Chiranjeevi defended the Speaker and said it was unfortunate that some people were trying to politicise the issue and pointed out that Dr. Reddy was the only Chief Minister, to have died in an accident. Rules should not come in the way of such decisions.


  • Speaker says his decision was well within rules, but Chandrababu Naidu differs
  • It is unfortunate that some people are politicising the issue: Chiru


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