On Monday, in what initially seemed like a bizarre complaint, furniture, air conditioners and computers belonging to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative assembly were reported missing. The Andhra Pradesh police was informed about the items that went missing when Kodela Sivaprasad Rao was the Assembly Speaker.
While the cops are yet to file a case, a preliminary investigation found the items were with Rao. Realising that the YSR Congress was accusing him of theft, Rao has come out to accept that while the furniture was being shifted from Hyderabad to Amaravati in March 2017, a few items were diverted to his camp office adjoining his residence in Sattenapalli in Guntur district.
Rao claimed that after his defeat in the assembly elections, he had written to the officials to take back the furniture but received no reply.
“I am ready to hand over the furniture or I am also willing to pay the value of the furniture,” Rao has now said. The cost of the items has not yet been computed.
The YSRCP has criticised the former Speaker. Agriculture minister K Kannababu said, “If a common man indulges in this kind of an act, what would you call it. Wouldn’t you term it a theft?”
Narasaraopet MLA G Srinivas Reddy of the YSRCP asked, “Should the furniture of the assembly be shifted to the new Assembly building or to Kodela Sivaprasad Rao’s home? It shows he misused his office.”
The YSRCP has had a bitter relationship with Rao. He had turned a blind eye to the defection by 23 YSRCP MLAs to the Telugu Desam in 2018 and was seen by Jagan and his colleagues as being partial to Chandrababu Naidu. In the three months since the YSRCP came to power in Andhra Pradesh, cases of tax evasion, cheating and intimidation have been booked against Rao’s son and daughter.