Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday slammed Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao for dubbing as "fascist" the Centre's directives on special powers related to law and order in Hyderabad vested in Governor, and demanded immediate withdrawal of his comments.
Stating that he was "amazed" by Rao's "new definition of fascism", Naidu said the dictionary meaning of 'fascism' is that it's a political theory advocating an authoritarian government, adding that fascism is exact opposite of democracy wherein laws and rules are made by elected legislatures.
"KCR (K Chandrasekhara Rao) describing PM Narendra Modi as 'fascist' is highly condemnable and I demand that he withdraw his ill-considered comments," the Union minister told a press conference in Hyderabad.
Naidu's comments came a day after the Telangana government refused to "honour or implement" the Union home ministry's directives "in any circumstances", with Rao on Saturday night seeking that it be rescinded.
"I am sure that this communication (the directives) has been sent by the MHA without your approval and therefore appeal to you to look into the matter and order that these instructions be rescinded forthwith in accordance with the democratic traditions and conventions of our federal structure," Rao had said in a letter to Modi.
Rao said he was writing the letter with "a grave concern on a most important Constitutional issue of our federal structure."
The chief minister had said he was greatly disturbed after receiving the letter from the MHA on August 8, prescribing certain norms to be followed by the state government regarding the powers and functioning of government under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.
He explained that these norms go to the extent of asking the state government to follow certain procedures even in the posting of station house officers and ACP and DCPs of Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, Naidu stressed that nothing more than what has been defined in the Act has been done.
"The Act was passed by Parliament, supported by all parties including (the now ruling) TRS. They (TRS) celebrated after passing of the Bill. Now, how can anybody find fault with it?" Naidu asked.
"AP Reorganisation Act is an Act of Parliament of India, the highest legislature of the country," he said.
"How can any responsible politician say that abiding by such an Act of Parliament is an act of 'fascism'?" he further questioned.
"This Act was intended to address certain situations created by certain vested interests due to which some sections of Telugu speaking people wanted certain safeguards to their rights including those of loss of life, liberty and property," the Union minister said.
Image: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu