CM, Naidu lock horns over ''misuse'' of CBI

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Hyderabad, Feb 15 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu were today involved in a verbal duel in the Assembly over the alleged ''partisan'' role of the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The trouble started during debate on the motion of thanks for the Governor's address, when Mr Naidu dubbed the CBI as ''Congress Bureau of Investigation'' while referring to the handing over of the 'Ayesha Meera murder case (the rape and murder of a pharmacy student)' to the Central agency.

The House witnessed an uproar when Mr Naidu alleged that the Centre and the ruling Congress in the state were 'misusing' the CBI with political motives.

Intervening, Dr Reddy said the Opposition was ''politicising each and every issue''.

''I was ready to hand over the case to any agency if the opposition could suggest a more impartial investigation agency than the CBI, the Chief Minister said adding, ''it's shameful on the part of a person, who has been a Chief Minister for nine years to politicise each and every issue. I am more concerned about the unfortunate incident.'' ''No human being will talk like this. You should hold your head down in shame,'' Mr Reddy said.

Replying to his remarks, Mr Naidu asserted that he would not be cowed down by any threats from the Chief Minister, who, he alleged, had 'offered' money to the victim's mother to withdraw the case.

Referring to Mr Naidu's charge that the CBI had not made any progress in investigation into TDP leader Paritala Ravi murder case, the Chief Minister recalled that the case was handed over to the CBI only after the TDP dragged the names of his son (Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and Panchayatraj Minister J C Diwakar Reddy) into the murder.

Referring to the Ayesha murder case, the Chief Minister said he was monitoring the progress in the investigation into the case on a daily basis. He had promised all help to the girl's mother, when she called on her, he added.

Expressing unhappiness over the progress of investigation by the police, Mr Naidu said the girl was allegedly murdered and then raped. Evidence had been tampered with, he claimed, adding that the Chief Minister should have visited the spot and then there would not have been any 'slackening' on the part of the police.

UNI SM VA JJ VD RK1758

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