statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 27 JUNE: A day after a heated exchange of words and even a scuffle in full public view between Congress and TDP MPs and leaders, the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) today blamed the TDP president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu for the unsavoury episode.
MPs of both parties were yesterday seen locking horns at Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport over which side will ferry the Andhra Pradesh pilgrims and visitors affected in the Uttarakhand flood disaster in their respective chartered planes back to Hyderabad.
The entire incident reportedly unfolded in the presence of the TDP chief as well as some ministers of the Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh government deputed apparently by the CM, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, to ensure relief operations for affected state pilgrims.
The AICC spokesperson, Mrs Renuka Chowdhury, accused Mr Naidu of “enacting drama” and “indulging in acting” in the name of providing succour to the beleaguered flood victims from Andhra Pradesh.
Mrs Chowdhury, a Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh herself, also defended the Congress MP, Mr Hanumantha Rao, who was found engaged in altercation and scuffle with TDP MPs, Mr Ramesh Rathod and Mr K Narayana, at the Jolly Grant airport.
She rejected allegations that the Congress camp blocked TDP from carrying out relief operations for stranded Andhra victims.
On his part, Mr Naidu had deplored the incident, calling it “unfortunate”, and asserting that there should not be competitive politics over such a tragedy. “The Congress government (in AP) failed to help the pilgrims. They did nothing. They woke up only after we took initiatives like bringing pilgrims out of the flood area and sending them by flight to Hyderabad. They are only sabotaging our efforts. We are doing this on humanitarian grounds,” Mr Naidu reportedly said.