The debate on Satyam fraud in the Assembly between Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu and Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy turned out to be a bout between two fathers defending their sons.
The debate was initiated by Naidu. When he accused Y S Jaganmohan Reddy of money-laundering,the CM rose to defend his son and when Reddy accused Naidu that Satyam’s B Ramalinga Raju had financed his son Lokesh’s education abroad,a furious Naidu retorted by saying that he was in a position to provide for his son’s education. In the war of words between the former chief minister and the present CM,the debate on Satyam was forgotten.
Angry over reports in the vernacular daily,Sakhshi,owned by Jaganmohan,alleging that the accounts of the Naidu-family owned Heritage Foods Limited were fudged,Naidu accused the CM’s son of money-laundering and demanded a CBI inquiry into the financial transactions of Jagati Publications,floated by Jaganmohan. Naidu accused the CM of investing Rs 350 crore of his allegedly ill-gotten money in the vernacular daily. He alleged that the funds for the newspaper and soon-to-be-launched Sakshi TV were routed through Mauritius-based firms. Naidu charged that the firms which had invested in the newspaper were gifted with SEZs contracts by the state Government.
This prompted the CM to rise in defense of his son. “There is nothing wrong if someone buys shares or invests in my son’s company. I see no wrong in what my son has done,” he said.
The CM accused Naidu of having B Ramalinga Raju pay for his son N Lokesh’s education in the US. Naidu immediately protested: “Do you think I am not in a position to provide good education to my son? He is my only son. Don’t forget his grandfather also served as the chief minister. Also,there are many scholarships available for meritorious students.”
This drew a comment from the treasury benches that Lokesh was not meritorious enough to deserve a scholarship. An incensed Naidu shouted back: “I have brought up my son well. He is not like your CM’s son who came back by the return flight when sent abroad for studies.”
This again brought the CM back to his feet in defense of his son,saying that Jaganmohan returned immediately because he was homesick. “I know so many things about your son,but do not want to reveal it all here,” he told Naidu.