Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has called for protests across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after a court in Dharmabad in Nanded district of Maharashtra issued an arrest warrant against Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and 13 others in connection with a case dating back to July 2010. Judicial Magistrate (First Class) N R Gajbhiye directed the police to arrest all the accused and produce them in court by September 21.
TDP leaders said the arrest warrant reeks of political vendetta by BJP. “This is nothing but a conspiracy by the BJP to intimidate TDP. BJP is afraid of the alliance that TDP is forming in Telangana and the arrest warrant, which had expired, has been renewed to intimidate us,” Telangana TDP president L Ramana said.
Naidu’s son and state Information Technology Minister N Lokesh said his father and the other TDP leaders would appear in court. “He fought to protect the interests of Telangana. He even refused to seek bail when he was arrested,” Lokesh said.
“It is revenge politics by BJP, PM Modi and Amit Shah,” TDP leader B Venkanna said.
The Dharmabad court had issued the arrest warrant on July 5, which was to be executed by August 16. The warrant was re-issued for September 21 after a Nanded resident moved court, saying no action was taken on the arrest warrant. Besides Naidu, state Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, Social Welfare Minister N Anand Babu and former MLA G Kamalakar (who subsequently joined TRS) were among those booked in the case.
What is the case against Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu?
TDP leaders, led by Naidu, crossed over from Telangana to Maharashtra to stage a protest at Babli barrage in Nanded district on July 18, 2010. The leaders, who were in the opposition in united Andhra at the time, were agitating against the dam across Godavari as the water flow to downstream areas in Telangana would be affected.
After Nanded MP Bhaskarrao Khatgaonkar and Nanded MLA Omprakash Pokarna strongly opposed the protest and demanded action against them, the TDP leaders were taken into custody by the police and lodged in a Pune jail. They were charged under Sections 353, 324, 332, 336, 337, 323, 504, 506, 109 and 34 of the IPC, which pertain to assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, act endangering life or personal safety of others, criminal intimidation among others.
Naidu was sent back on a flight while the others were told to leave the same evening.