If there is an epicentre of political activity within Andhra Pradesh, it would lie in Nellore. Within hours of issuing a show-cause notice for senior YSRCP MLA and former Finance minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, the party inducted Beeda Masthan Rao into the party. What makes Rao politically significant is that the former MLA is spoken of one of the Telugu Desam’s main funders. Both leaders are from Nellore district.
Rao hit the headlines last October when the Income Tax department raided the premises of the BMR group, a shrimp farming and exports firm, where Rao is the Chairman. Coming within months of Chandrababu Naidu quitting the NDA, the TDP connected the dots to suggest the raids were politically motivated to hurt the party.
If the move to induct Rao is with a view to weaken the TDP politically and financially, the Reddy issue is because of a problem of plenty. Reddy is miffed that he was overlooked for a place in the cabinet even as a junior like Anil Kumar Yadav was made Irrigation minister. Reddy’s comments that Nellore had become a den for all kinds of mafia – from sand and land mafia to liquor and betting mafia was seen as violating party discipline.
Reddy said, “There has been blatant grabbing of land and illicit liquor trade in Nellore and people are not able to express their views openly. Unfortunately even the police officials are not able to do anything and if at all, there are any sincere officers, they will be shunted out.”
Within YSRCP circles, this is seen as embarrassing the party leadership. At one time, Reddy along with his late brother Anam Vivekananda Reddy were seen as the political strongmen of the Congress in Nellore. Reddy clearly does not want till end of 2021 when Jagan has said the present lot of ministers will resign, to be replaced by another set of MLAs and has fired his salvo.