ANDHRA PRADESH

Who is the 'Big Boss?'

HYDERABAD Sept. 26. The mystery behind the "Big Boss" remained unresolved though Congress members made a vain bid to extract a response from the Government by holding placards and shouting slogans of "who is the Big Boss" and stalling the proceedings of the Assembly for 25 minutes on Friday morning.

As soon as the House met to take up the reply by the Government to the debate on "Criminalisation of politics and various scams", the Congress members stood up to protest demanding that the identity of the "Big Boss" mentioned in a letter quoted by M. V. Mysoora Reddy on Thursday evening.

The letter was purported to have been written by M. S. Rama Rao, Director of Konaseema EPS Oakwell, to the CEO of the Engineering Power Systems Limited where it was stated they had fulfilled the old commitment of Rs. 30 millions to the "Big Boss.'' Dr. Reddy wanted the Government to name this "Big Boss" and the Congress members persisted with this demand today. The Home Minister, T. Devender Goud, was not allowed to begin his reply.

The Speaker, K. Pratibha Bharathi's appeal to the Congress members to resume their seats so that the Home Minister could reply to the debate, went unheeded. And the slogans of the Congress members were matched by that of Telugu Desam with "Rajasekhara Reddy....Barytes", and references to "Bofors" and the former Prime Minister, P. V. Narasimha Rao. After several rounds of slogan shouting the Congress members relented.

But much of the debate continued to generate heat and acrimonious exchanges. At one point, Dr. Mysoora Reddy threatened to resign as MLA if the Revenue Minister, P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, proved his charge. Mr. Raju alleged that Dr. Reddy had mentioned in the House that he knew Abdul Karim Telgi alias Karim Lala, a key accused. Dr. Reddy charged the Minister with distorting facts and wanted the Speaker to go through the Assembly proceedings record and CD. The Panel Speaker, M. V. Krishna Rao, offered to examine the records and expunge the objectionable portions. Mr. Raju merely said everyone was responsible for whatever happens in the House and continued with his reply.

When Mr. Raju quoted from The Hindu on the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi's speech made at AICC Centenary Celebrations in 1985 asking Congressmen to introspect on their deeds, there was a furore and some Congress members rushed to the Speaker's podium to protest.

At one stage during the heated debate, the Major Irrigation Minister, Kadiam Srihari, said he did not know who was the `Big Boss. As far far as the TDP was concerned, its boss was only Mr. Chandrababu Naidu. " we are proud of him,'' he added.

There was action even outside the House as Congress members emerged from it carrying posters carrying a picture of the Chief Minister.

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