Vijayawada: TDP national president and former Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu, on 21 January, said it was "dangerous thinking" on the part of the YSRCP government to make false arrests in the Ramatheertham temple case with the ulterior motive of terrifying and suppressing the voice of the Opposition cadres and the general public.
Mr. Naidu condemned the late-night arrest of TDP AP former president K. Kala Venkatrao despite the fact that he was a non-controversial 69-year-old leader with a 40-year credible political career. The government's attitude is dangerous as it wants all opponents to either kill themselves or get killed by criminals under suspicious circumstances, the TDP supremo said.
Addressing a press conference here, the TDP chief demanded DGP Gautham Sawang explain what crime Mr. Venkatrao had committed. It was YSRCP MP Vijay Sai Reddy who made an unscheduled visit to create obstacles to the TDP leaders' visit to Ramatheertham, he said, adding, "The DGP should explain why no preventive steps were taken nor any case filed against the MP. On the contrary, false cases were filed against TDP leaders for allegedly attacking the MP's car."
Mr. Naidu strongly criticized the DGP and said it was high time Mr. Sawang followed the Indian Penal Code and not the 'Jagan Reddy Penal Code' to safeguard the rights of the people. "If the DGP cannot overcome pressure from the ruling YSRCP leaders to implement the rule of law, then he should resign and go home. There was no proper response from the CM and the DGP though the head of Lord Rama's idol was cut off and attacks took place on over 150 temples. The DGP should at least respect his khakhi uniform. Otherwise, he should quit expressing his inability to stop the atrocities," Mr. Naidu said.
Welcoming the latest order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court allowing the state to hold panchayat elections, Mr. Naidu said the YSRCP leaders should realize that judges may change but justice will remain. Alleging irregularities during MPTC and ZPTC elections, the TDP chief said the "fake CM" and his party leaders were trying to use rowdyism to terrify and suppress voters. "If they want to rig the elections all the time, then they would surely meet with the people's revolt. The YSRCP leaders will go down as history-sheeters," he added.
Referring to the Dharma Parirakshana Yatra in Tirupati, the TDP chief asked the DGP to clarify how police permission that was given yesterday could be cancelled today. He said it was unclear what sections or which Constitution the AP police were following. Mr. Naidu also claimed that the police were only conniving with trouble makers who mostly belong to the YSRCP while the Opposition leaders were being persecuted. Stating that respectable families and persons cannot live in the state peacefully, he said an experienced leader like Kodela Sivaprasada Rao had to commit suicide to preserve his self-respect and reputation.
Mr. Naidu accused the ruling party leaders of provoking the Christian associations to make defamatory comments against the TDP. The TDP chief asked why he should apologize when it was true that Jagan, being a Christian, was not trying to respect the sentiments of other religions. It was true that forcible conversions were going on in this regime and they were being used for commercial purposes and that the ruling party was trying to use religion to create vote banks, he further alleged.
The TDP chief demanded the DGP explain why a royal treatment was being given to pastor Praveen Chakravarthy who was reported to have a bank account in Kadapa. He said it was unclear how many more persons were involved in the shady religious activities along with Praveen. "The CM, the DGP, and the YSRCP leaders are responsible for religious disharmony in AP now. This is what happens when the CM, the Home minister, the DGP, the CID chief, and such top persons all belong to one religion. They will not properly respond when heart-rending incidents occur like the joint suicide of Abdul Salaam family who threw themselves under a speeding train following police and YSRCP harassment," Mr. Naidu said.