TRS minister calls Andhra people as those from ‘Lanka’; issues explanation after row

Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader and state R&B minister Vemula Prashant Reddy on Tuesday landed in soup after he called the people from neighboring Andhra Pradesh as those from ‘Lanka’, adding that all those from Lanka are demons.

Reddy was speaking at Divitipalli in the erstwhile Mahabubnagar district on Tuesday, where he alleged that the government of Andhra Pradesh was plundering Krishna river waters.

The minister pointed out that former chief minister (late) YS Rajashekhar Reddy had drawn water from Pothireddypadu illegally and now his son, Jaganmohan Reddy had gone a step ahead by taking up Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) to draw water unlawfully. “If the AP government does not stop unauthorized projects, another people’s movement will have to be launched,” Reddy said.

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While pointing it out, he said: “Everyone in Lanka is a demon. No one in Andhra Pradesh will think of Telangana’s welfare.” The chief minister will also file a case before the National Green Tribunal against such projects to safeguard the interests of Telangana, the minister added.

After several leaders across parties from Andhra Pradesh condemned the comment, Reddy said in a statement that he meant to criticize only those in the ruling party trying to snatch the livelihood of farmers in Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and Khammam by taking up ‘illegal’ construction of projects.

In a statement, Reddy said that the Telangana government and people have been living along with those from Andhra and Rayalaseema with a sense of brotherhood for the past seven years. “KCR’s idea is to benefit farmers on both sides of the border,” he added.

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