Politics in Andhra Pradesh plunged to a new low on Monday after agriculture minister YS Vivekananda Reddy, younger brother of the late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR), got into an altercation with members of the opposition TDP inside the state legislature.
However, when the house assembled in the evening, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy tendered an apology on behalf of the agriculture minister.
When opposition MLAs raised slogans, displayed placards with 'YSR dongala mutha' (YSR and his gang of thieves) written on them, and demanded a joint probe into land scams that surfaced during YSR's rule, Vivekananda threw a fit.
The angry minister rushed to TDP legislators C Prabhakar and GMK Naidu, snatched the placards, showered abuses and even pushed Prabhakar. When other TDP members retaliated by pushing Vivekananda away, two members of the legislative assembly owing allegiance to YSR's son Jaganmohan Reddy, rushed to the minister's aid, but got into fisticuffs with TDP members instead.
The mayhem continued for a while before the speaker adjourned the house.
"He might have reacted so strongly because of his relationship with his brother. We need to behave responsibly in the House ...," said the CM.
Vivekananda also offered an explanation. "I just could not bear the TDP members calling my brother YSR a thief. He was a great leader who had done great service to the people."