Hyderabad: The Telangana Legislative Council on Thursday paid rich tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee and former MLC and mimicry great Nerella Venumadhav at a one day session here. The House also recorded its deep sense of sorrow at the loss of lives in the recent Kondagattu bus accident and the deaths that resulted in Kerala as a result of massive floods in the State recently.
After paying tributes, the Council was adjourned sine die by its chairman K Swamy Goud. Caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao led the House in paying tributes. On Vajpayee’s services to the nation, the Chief Minister said Vajpayee’s stature transcended politics. “He was part of India’s soul and will remain so,” Chandrashekhar Rao said. As a tribute to the great man, the Telangana State Government has approved creation of a memorial for Vajpayee and for installation of his statue in a one acre plot, he added.
As Prime Minister and as a Lok Sabha member, Vajpayee never compromised on issues of national importance and it took a man of his vision and stature to conduct the Pokhran nuclear tests in the face of stiff opposition from the United States which sought hegemony on nuclear power. “Whether it was about Kargil or peace, he never hesitated to speak his mind. His toughness was matched only by his ability to be considerate. Such was his stature that the then President Pranab Mukherjee broke all protocols to confer “Bharat Ratna” award on Vajpayee by going to the latter’s residence as he was unwell. “This was the first in the country’s history, conferring the honour on a living person and the President going to an individual’s house to do so,” Chandrashekhar Rao said.
On Karunanidhi’s life, the Chief Minister said it was the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, who fought for the rights of chief ministers to hoist the national flag on Independence Day. He was also instrumental in ensuring property rights to women and such was his standing in Tamil Nadu politics that he was elected unopposed as the DMK president 49 times. “And when the entire State voted for another party to power, it was only Karunanidhi, who won becoming the sole winner from his party. Even when the entire State was not in favour of DMK, even that could not diminish his personal standing and appeal among people,” he said.
Speaking on Nerella Venumadhav, former MLC, who was born in Warangal, Chandrashekhar Rao said whenever people talk of mimicry as an art form, it is in the context of before and after Venumadhav. Such was his prowess in the art of mimicry that he was also invited to the United Nations to give a performance. “The government was considering instituting an award in his honour,” he added.
Others who spoke on the condolence motions were: Leader of Opposition Md Ali Shabbir, Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari, Congress members P Sudhakar Reddy, Akula Lalitha, TRS members Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, Karne Prabhakar and BJP floor leader N Ramachandra Rao.
Before the session began, the Chief Minister inspected the refurbished chambers of his office in the Council hall. He also visited his chambers in the Legislative Assembly chambers. Deputy Chief Minister Md Mahmood Ali, Ministers T Harish Rao, KT Rama Rao, Nayani Narasimha Reddy were among those who were with the Chief Minister as he checked the refurbished Council facilities.