Senior Telangana Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao was arrested today at Pembarthi village while he was on his way to participate in a dharna.
Rao was going to the Kakatiya University in Warangal to attend a protest program organised by NSUI activists in support of the agitating farmers protesting the Centre's new farm laws.
However, the leader's plans to attend the dharna were thwarted when the police arrested him at Pembarthi.
Speaking on the occasion, he alleged that the police had acted on the orders of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, and accused the CM of being hypocritical by repressing protests against the laws after having organised similar protests
"The TRS had also protested against the three controversial farm laws on December 8, observing the Bharat Bandh called for by the aggrieved farmers. The opposition too had organised demonstrations. Now, the police has arrested me for trying to protest the same laws. It has done so on the directions of the CM who claims that he supports the farmers. Is it because he recently met Prime Minister Modi and several other BJP ministers? I demand that he clarify his stand on the laws once and for all. If KCR wants to support the laws, he should say so openly," he said.
The Congress leader also cautioned the CM against repressing any future protests by arresting the leaders organising them, and added that this would only prompt his party to organise more demonstrations.
Addressing the incident, CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka condemned Rao's arrest, and demanded that he be released immediately.
He accused the police of having adopted different policies for TRS leaders and Congress leaders, and slammed it for stopping the leaders of the Congress from organising dharnas while allowing TRS leaders to do the same.
Vikramarka too demanded that the TRS government spell out its stand on the issue of the three farm laws.
"Why have the TRS leaders suddenly become silent on the issue of the farm laws after agitating against the same just a few days back? It seems that there has been a great change in the party's stance following the CM's Delhi visit. The TRS should not have such double standards, and the party's leaders should announce their stand on the issue," the leader said.