Hyderabad, May 30: An ugly confrontation between two Congress leaders in Andhra Pradesh took a turn for the worse as Rajya Sabha member T. Subbarami Reddy vowed to file a Rs.5 crore defamation suit against Congress legislator D. Venkateshwara Rao.
Venkateshwara Rao is the husband of D. Purandeswari, the central minister of state for commerce and industry and daughter of film star and former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh N.T. Rama Rao.
Talking to reporters in Visakhapatnam Thursday, Reddy said Rao tried to tarnish his image by levelling baseless allegations. He said he would also lodge a complaint with the Congress leadership.
The war of words between the two started after Reddy declared he would contest for the Lok Sabha in 2014 from Visakhapatnam, a seat now held by Purandeswari.
Taking exception to certain remarks by Reddy, the central minister's husband lashed out at him.
Rao claimed Wednesday that Reddy was arrested for illegal sale of cement in the 1980s. He also alleged that Reddy, who runs a construction company, claimed crores of rupees by inflating bills and also made money out of the scare created in the wake of the fall of US satellite Skylab in 1980s.
Rao also had a dig at Reddy for organising glamorous functions.
"Actors who are idle come and attend his functions, where awards and titles that are irrelevant are conferred," said Rao.
Rao was reacting to the claim by Reddy that Purandeswari had sought his help to get Congress ticket for Narsapur or Ongole Lok Sabha seat in 2009.
Reddy Thursday claimed that it was he who brought the couple into the Congress fold.
Purandeswari, whose father founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and her husband joined the Congress on the eve of the 2004 general election.
She was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bapatla in Guntur district that year.
After that seat was reserved for Schedules Caste, she contested from Visakhapatnam in 2009 and was re-elected.