YSR Congress MP, who asked court to cancel bail to Jagan, arrested for sedition

By, Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
May 14, 2021 09:00 PM IST

Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju’s arrest comes nearly weeks after he asked a CBI special court to cancel bail granted to Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy in a disproportionate assets case

YSR Congress lawmaker Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju was arrested in Hyderabad by Andhra Pradesh’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) on Friday on charges of sedition, disturbing communal harmony and attacking dignitaries of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government, the police said in a statement.

YSR Congress MP Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju with Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy in May 2020 before the two had a major falling out . (Facebook/Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju)
YSR Congress MP Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju with Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy in May 2020 before the two had a major falling out . (Facebook/Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju)

A police statement issued after his arrest said a preliminary inquiry against the MP “found that through his speeches on regular basis Mr Raju was indulging in systematic, schematic effort to cause tensions among the communities and by attacking various government dignitaries in a way which will cause loss of faith in the government which they represent”.

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The arrest comes weeks after Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju, an outspoken critic of his party chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy over the last year, asked a special CBI special court on April 27 to cancel the bail granted to Jagan Mohan Reddy. He alleged that the chief minister, released on bail in an alleged disproportionate assets case pending since 2012, had been violating the bail conditions. This request is pending before the judge who asked the CBI and Jagan Mohan Reddy to respond to the charge.

Raghurama Krishnam Raju, who represents Narasapuram parliamentary constituency in West Godavari district, was in Hyderabad to celebrate his 59th birthday on Friday when a CID police led by R Vijaya Paul, additional superintendent of police, Guntur, arrested him.

The Andhra Pradesh CID statement said a case had been registered against the MP under Section 124-A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), for alleged comments against the Jagan Mohan Reddy government, damaging its reputation and inciting hatred among the people. The police have also invoked Section 153 (b) (making comments causing communal disharmony or affecting national integration) and Section 505 (making statements with public mischief) against the MP.

Raghurama Krishnam Raju’s son K Bharat told reporters that the CID team forcibly took away his father without disclosing any reasons.

“They didn’t even tell us where my father is being taken. How can the cops arrest an MP at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is so severe?” he asked.

Bharat said he would file a petition in court against his father’s “illegal arrest”.

This isn’t the first time that Raju, a well-known industrialist in the West Godavari district, has gone against Jagan Reddy. Raju quit the party in 2014 after he didn’t get a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha general elections and crossed over to the BJP. He exited the BJP in 2018 and switched to the Telugu Desam Party before returning to the YSR Congress in March 2019 in time for the Lok Sabha elections.

Raghurama Krishnam Raju was elected to the Lok Sabha but had a falling out with Jagan Mohan Reddy again last year. He was issued a show-cause notice by the party in June 2020. Jagan Mohan Reddy hasn’t suspended him so far but in October last year, it did ask Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to disqualify him.

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    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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