Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh minister of transport and information and public relations, Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani), escaped unhurt after a man attacked him with a spade. The incident took place at the minister's residence in Machilipatnam in AP's Krishna district on 29 November.
The attacker has been identified as Badugu Nageswara Rao, a mason. He was overpowered by the minister's security personnel and handed over to the police.
The police said that some people from nearby villages visited Nani's residence on Sunday to attend a ceremony for the minister's mother who passed away recently. As Nani was coming out of his residence, a man came towards him and bent down to prostrate. Then suddenly, he whipped out a small spade and tried to attack the minister.
Nani said the weapon brushed the buckle of his trouser. "The attacker tried again but my gunman caught him," he added. The minister said he had seen the man at a couple of occasions but was not aware of the reason behind the attack.
The attacker, Badugu Nageswara Rao, was taken to the Machilipatnam police headquarters for questioning. The police said that Rao was in an inebriated condition at the time of the attack and they are trying to ascertain if an old rivalry is the reason behind the incident.
It may be recalled that a few months ago, Nani's close associate Moka Bhaskar was brutally murdered in Machilipatnam allegedly by his political rival Chinni. The former minister in the previous Nara Chandrababu Naidu's cabinet, Kollu Ravindra, was also arrested on charges of plotting the murder of Moka Bhaskar.