Apologise or I’ll sue for defamation: Andhra minister to actor-politician

January 3rd, 2009 - 10:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 3 (IANS) An Andhra Pradesh cabinet minister Saturday sent a legal notice to Telugu film actor and Praja Rajyam Party leader Pavan Kalyan for making allegedly defamatory remarks against him.Minister for Energy and Minority Affairs Mohammed Ali Shabbir has demanded an apology from Kalyan for allegedly branding him a “traitor’. The minister has threatened to launch defamation proceedings if Kalyan failed to retract his statement and tender an apology.

Kalyan, the president of youth wing of Praja Rajyam, is the brother of superstar-turned-politician Chiranjeevi, who recently floated the party.

The minister’s action came amid a bitter war of words between PR and ruling Congress party leaders. Pavan had triggered the war of words Tuesday by terming Congress party leaders as “criminals”, “corrupt” and “traitors”.

Known for his fiery speeches, Pavan alleged that Shabbir not only sold away several prime lands of the Wakf Board but also visited the house of a “terrorist”.

He was referring to the minister’s visit to the house of Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi here in 2004 after his eldest son Mujahid Saleem was killed in firing by a Gujrat Police team in Hyderabad. Mujahid was killed while trying to prevent police from arresting a cleric, Maulana Naseeruddin in connection with the murder of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya.

Shabbir hit back strongly at Pavan and termed him a “loafer” and a “rowdy”. He clarified that he visited Maulana Islahi’s house following reports that his second son was facing police harassment, adding that neither the cleric nor his sons were terrorists.

The minister alleged that Pavan had hurt the sentiments of Muslims. Several Congress leaders also lashed out at PR leader and Congress workers staged protest at his party office for last two days.

Pavan stood by his statement but denied making any comments against the Muslim community. Chiranjeevi also defended his brother.

Minority leaders and activists of Congress Saturday staged yet another protest outside PR office in Jubliee Hills, leading to tension in the area. Police intervened to avert a clash between the two groups.

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