The Telugu Desam has formally lodged a complaint with the Centre against the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government accusing it of causing “lot of mental agony and distress” to Kodela Sivaprasad Rao. In a letter to G Kishan Reddy, the Minister of State for Home, the TDP writes : “The continued harassment of government of AP headed by Jaganmohan Reddy has forced him to commit suicide on 16.9.2019.”
The TDP points out that the former Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh assembly was the victim of the government harassment as it had “foisted 19 false cases against him and his family members”. Accusing the Andhra Pradesh government of political vendetta, the party has asked the Centre to order a CBI probe into the case of harassment.
TDP leaders say the cases were triggered by YSRCP Rajya Sabha MP Vijaysai Reddy asking people through his tweets, to lodge complaints against Sivaprasad Rao and his family members. They accuse the Sakshi channel group, owned by the chief minister’s family of running a campaign against Rao, defaming him.
Referring to the specific case of the furniture, the TDP says it was blown out of proportion. The furniture, it says, was being used in the Speaker’s office when the Assembly was functioning in Hyderabad and when it was moved, Rao asked it to be used at his camp office in Sattenpalli and Guntur. The party says that he had informed the Assembly Secretary on 3 June followed by a written communition on 7 June, offering to pay for the old furniture. Yet, the Assembly Secretariat filed a FIR on 24 August accusing him of criminal breach of trust theft and possession of illegal property.
While the Assembly Secretariat’s decision to ignore the fact that Rao never hid from it the fact that he was in possession of the furniture and had dury informed it is perplexing and does not show it in good light, what the TDP glosses over is the fact that objection was more to a large part of the furniture being found at his son K Sivaram’s motor showroom.
The YSRCP has in turn accused Chandrababu Naidu of humiliating Rao by encouraging rival groups in Guntur district, leading to the senior TDP leader taking the extreme step.
Clearly, both parties have decided that they will return political fire with political fire over Rao’s demise. The TDP sees in Rao’s death a political opportunity to label the Jagan government as one that goes after political opponents. The Telugu social media is abuzz with comparisons made with Paritala Ravi, another senior TDP leader, who was killed in January 2005 when the Congress was in power in united Andhra Pradesh. Though Ravi himself was a faction leader known to practise violence, Naidu had alleged a Jagan hand in his killing at that point in time.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh