Hyderabad: The TRS and the Congress sharply criticised the presence of BJP state president Dr K. Laxman with Union railway minister Piyush Goyal at an official function in the city on Tuesday. Other BJP leaders were also seen on the dais.
Dr Laxman not only shared the dais during the function to lay the foundation stone for the Cherlapalli satellite terminal, but also praised Mr Goyal stating that he had worked hard both as coal and railway minister.
As per protocol, only ministers, MPs, MLAs and MLCs of the jurisdiction are eligible to share the dais during official functions. Dr Laxman is not a legislator, having lost the 2018 Assembly elections from Musheerabad, and at present heads the BJP state unit.
When asked how Dr Laxman was invited to the stage when he was not a legislator, a South Central Railway officer said they had done so on the instructions of the railway minister.
Reacting to the incident, Mr Talasani Srinivas Yadav, animal husbandry minister, pointed out that not only Dr Laxman but another former legislator, N.V.S.S. Prabhakar Rao, and small-time BJP leaders were on the dais, making it a BJP affair.
He asked what would Union minister of state G. Kishan Reddy say about the BJP leaders on stage, after he had complained that the state government had violated protocol during the inauguration of a Metro Rail corridor recently.
He said that though the state government had extended Mr Kishan Reddy an invitation, he had made an issue out of the allegation for political gain.
Advising the BJP leaders to hold the function at their party office if they wanted to sit beside the railway minister, Mr Srinivas Yadav demanded Mr Kishan Reddy reply for Tuesday’s incident.
The minister also took exception to the remarks of Mr Kishan Reddy at the function that “Telangana people know only the red bus (a reference to district buses) and it was the BJP that had brought the railway to the state.”
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy pointed out that the incident was the best example to show that neither of the ruling parties in the state and at the Centre were respecting elected representatives of Opposition parties.
Stating that such violation of protocol was not good during official functions, Mr Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the people were observing the acts of the BJP at Centre and the TRS in the state.
It is worth mentioning that in the function K. Raghurama Krishnam Raju, YSRC MP from Narasapuram, was also seen sharing the dais with Mr Goyal at Cherlapalli.