Andhra CM defends MP over alleged remarks on Ambedkar

February 25th, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, Feb 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Monday defended Congress MP U. Arun Kumar, saying his remarks on B.R. Ambedkar were distorted by a section of the media. Making a statement in the state legislative assembly, he alleged that it was a conspiracy by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and media baron Ramoji Rao to malign the ruling party and Arun Kumar as the latter had exposed his financial irregularities worth Rs.30 billion.

Certain remarks by Arun Kumar during a meeting of Rajhamundry Municipal Corporation meeting sparked a row with the main opposition TDP and Dalit organizations staging statewide protests.

For the second consecutive day Monday, Dalit groups and TDP activists took out mock funeral processions of Arun Kumar, burnt his effigies and purified Ambedkar’s statues with milk even as the Rajhamundry MP tendered an unconditional apology in New Delhi.

The issue rocked the state assembly this morning with the TDP moving an adjournment motion over the issue.

Speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy rejected the motion but the chief minister came forward with an assurance that the government would make a statement on the issue after the question hour.

However, all TDP legislators were suspended from the house for one day when they stalled the proceedings during the question hour. This followed their protest over the suspension of their party colleague E. Dayakar Rao till Friday over his “rude” behaviour in the house.

In the absence of the main opposition party, the chief minister made a statement, defending the MP. “It is a conspiracy by TDP, Ramoji Rao, his newspaper and television channel to defame Arun Kumar,” he said.

“This is because Arun Kumar had exposed serious financial irregularities by Ramoji Rao. These irregularities were of Rs.3,000 crore (30 billion),” he said.

Arun Kumar had alleged financial irregularities in Margdarsi Financiers, owned by Ramoji Rao.

The chief minister claimed that Arun Kumar did not make any insulting remarks about the architect of the constitution of India.

As the Communist Party of India-Marxist and other opposition parties took exception to the chief minister’s strong defence of the MP, he said he was ready to order any inquiry.

“The government is ready for any inquiry by a prominent Dalit personality or judicial inquiry or probe by state human rights commission or by scheduled castes commission,” he said.

Meanwhile, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu demanded that Arun Kumar be disqualified from parliament for making remarks against Ambedkar.

“A Member of Parliament who states that unfortunately Ambedkar wrote the constitution is not fit to continue as MP,” he said.

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