TDP says sorry to Mukherjee after angry words


New Delhi : The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Wednesday apologised to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee after its MP Sivaprasad Naramalli shouted at him during an uproar in the Lok Sabha over the disputed Babhali barrage on the Godavari river.

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The house witnessed the unpleasant scene when it reassembled at 11.30 a.m. after an adjournment following protests by the TDP and the Shiv Sena over the Babhali barrage at the centre of a row between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Mukherjee asked the TDP MPs, who had gathered near Speaker Meira Kumar’s podium to protest the controversial dam, to go back to their seats.

The exchange of angry words began when the speaker requested the MPs to go back to their seats, stating that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal would make a statement on the issue. But the TDP MPs continued their protest. At this Mukherjee lost his temper.

This, in turn, provoked Sivaprasad to shout at Mukherjee. An upset Mukherjee retorted, “You go back to seat, that is the rule.” Sivaprasad, who represents the Chittoor parliament constituency, again shouted at Mukherjee.

Congress MPs, including Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Aaroon Rashid, Jagadambika Pal and M. Jagannath, also rushed towards the podium to defend Mukherjee, who is the leader of the house. Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj pacified Naramalli and sent him back. The other four TDP MPs stood by him.

The incident forced another adjournment till 12 noon.

When the house reassembled, TDP leader in the Lok Sabha Nama Nageshwara Rao apologised to Mukherjee.

He said the issue with senior leader “Pranab Da” was unfortunate and “I am sorry for that”.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had Monday convened a meeting of chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra over the Babhali barrage row and called upon the two riverine states to abide by the Supreme Court’s interim order.

The house had earlier congratulated batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar for his “unique achievement” for playing his record 169th Test match Monday.

“The is unique achievement and he is a source of inspiration for budding cricketers,” the speaker said. This was reciprocated by the members by thumping their desks.