Brazen Show of Competitive Politics in Dehradun Airport
DehraDun: In a brazen show of competitive politics, Andhra Pradesh MPs belonging to Congress and Telugu Desam were locked in a scuffle in public view at the Jolly Grant airport over ferrying pilgrims back to the state.
The embarrassing altercation between Congress MP Hanumantha Rao and TDP MPs Ramesh Rathod and K Narayana, who nearly exchanged blows, came in the presence of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu over taking the flood victims back home by air.
Sloganeering by supporters of TDP and Congress only added to the ugly drama of political one-upmanship that unfolded in the airport which for more than a week has been a scene of hectic activities in mobilising succour to the distraught pilgrims.
The argument between the two sides was over who will ferry the victims to Andhra Pradesh as both of them had arranged flights.
Hanumantha Rao claimed that TDP leaders were preventing the flood victims from boarding a flight arranged by the Andhra Pradesh government to Hyderabad.
"There is already a flight arranged by the government which is waiting for the pilgrims. TDP leaders stopped them from boarding the flight saying that they have already arranged another flight to take them to Delhi," he told mediapersons.
State Minister for Civil Supplies D Sridhar Babu, who was deputed by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy to Dehradun to supervise the relief operations, alleged that the TDP is trying to obstruct government’s duty.
Dismissing the Congress MP's claim, Ramesh Rathod, TDP Lok Sabha member from Adilabad, said the ruling party leaders tried to delay the bus carrying flood victims from reaching the airport and boarding the flight arranged by his party.