TDP head and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu today came down heavily on the YSR Congress Party-led state government for "targeting" the TDP and its leaders.
He made the comments following the arrest of TDP state head Kinjarapu Atchannaidu.
(Atchannaidu was arrested in connection with a gram Panchayat election-related case, on grounds of criminal intimidation, after he allegedly threatened TRS member and Sarpanch of Srikakulam district's Nimmada village K Appanna not to file a nomination for the post of Sarpanch in AP's upcoming Panchayat elections. The contents of a leaked telephonic conversation between the two also reportedly bolstered the charge. Following the exchange, a scuffle broke out between TDP and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) workers on January 31. However, only the TDP cadres were pulled up for violence - eleven party leaders were even taken into custody for their alleged involvement in the confrontation.)
Condemning the arrest, the former CM dared the ruling party to openly attack the TDP if it had the courage to do so.
"The results of Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's vendetta politics have become evident today. He has been targeting the TDP for a long time. However, even in this context, Atchannaidu's arrest is shocking," he said.
The TDP supremo demanded that his deputy be released immediately, and that the case registered against the latter be withdrawn as well.
He also demanded that action be taken against Nimmada YSRCP in-charge D Srinivas who, he claimed, was "solely responsible" for the violence.
Speaking after meeting Pattabhi, a TDP leader injured in the scuffle, Naidu said,
"The people of the state are not blind. They will surely teach the YSRCP leaders a lesson in the upcoming Panchayat elections. They will ensure that the party does not win," he added.
The tension between the TDP and the YSRCP government has only been heightened due to the differing opinions of the two on the matter of the organisation of Panchayat elections in the state. TDP head Naidu has repeatedly lashed out at the government
for its "reluctance" to conduct the elections.