Row erupts after cash seized from residence of Telangana BJP leader’s kin
Massive protests erupted after cash worth Rs 18 lakh was seized from the residence of Bharatiya Janata Party leader M Raghunandan Rao’s kin at Telangana’s Siddipet town on Monday. Party cadres expressed their resentment by staging protests across the state on Tuesday.
Rao is contesting as a BJP candidate in the by-elections to Dubbak assembly seat which will be held on November 3. The police, who confiscated the cash from his uncle S Anjan Rao at Siddipet, are suspecting that the money was meant to be distributed among the voters on the eve of polling.
The BJP leaders are alleging that the money was planted by the police at the behest of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaders to defame Rao and have him defeated in the by-polls.
Bharatiya Janata Party Telangana unit president and parliament member Bandi Sanjay, who was prevented by the police from going to Siddipet on Monday night to call on Rao, launched an indefinite protest at his Karimnagar office.
Sanjay told reporters on Tuesday that he would continue with the protest till the Election Commission intervened in the matter and suspended Siddipet police commissioner Joel Devis who, allegedly, manhandled him while he was on his way to meet the BJP candidate.
Several party leaders and workers also staged a dharna outside Sanjay’s office. BJP national general secretary DK Aruna and former minister Babu Mohan called on Sanjay and extended their solidarity.
The party workers staged demonstrations at Manakondur, Metpalli and Karimnagar. In Hyderabad, the BJP gave a call to the party workers to lay siege to Pragati Bhavan, the official residence of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. However, the police thwarted their attempts.
The police placed several BJP leaders, including MLC N Ramachander Rao, former MP G Vivek and Nizamabad MP D Arvind, under house arrest. Security was tightened at the state BJP office in Hyderabad so as to prevent any breakdown of law and order.
BJP official spokesman K Krishna Sagar Rao condemned the alleged highhanded behaviour of the police in the arrest incident of state BJP president.
“Sanjay was not involved in any unruly protest when he was pushed and shoved into a police vehicle in the pretext of a preventive arrest. If the police had any grounds for his arrest, they could have very well done it without having to use brute force,” the spokesman said.
Refuting the allegations, Siddipet police commissioner Joel Davis said the BJP cadres behaved in an unruly manner by snatching the money seized by the police from the residence of Anjan Rao. He released the video footage to this effect.
He said all the proceedings at the residence have been video recorded which clearly showed that the cash was handed over to the officers by Anjan Rao’s wife. Rao’s explanation was also recorded, he said.
He said that the election teams are working impartially and effectively without any bias. “The concerned executive officer has served a search warrant before entering Anjan Rao’s house. Signatures of the persons and witnesses were taken in front of him,” he said.
The police official said they had prevented the BJP state president from entering Siddipet only to protect the law and order and there was no manhandling in the process.
TRS leader and finance minister T Harish Rao said the videos had completely nailed the lies of the BJP leaders. “They are clearly frustrated on sensing the defeat in Dubbak by-elections and hence, are creating rucks for no reason,” he said.