Telugu Desam Party General Secretary Nara Lokesh on Thursday condemned the arrest of party leader Kollu Ravindra and hit out at the YSR Congress government over its “oppression”.
Accusing state Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkatramaiah of being behind the episode, he said: “I condemn the arrest of non-controversial common man Kollu Ravindra. A good CM will enjoy the state developing while an obstinate Chief Minister like Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will derive evil happiness from opposition leaders’ arrests.”
He asserted that neither Reddy nor Venkatramaiah can harm Ravindra, or his party.
“How much ever you try to oppress (it), the TDP will bounce back and continue its fight,” he said.
Lokesh also warned officials “playing to the tunes of YSRCP leaders drunk on power” to “prepare to eat food in prison with Reddy”.
Meanwhile, Ravindra, who subsequently secured bail from a local court, claimed that he was illegally arrested because he “questioned injustice”.
“When I went to exercise my franchise, they (the government) themselves created trouble. Police told me not to talk to the media and put me in house arrest, leading to me staying at home all of Wednesday,” the former minister said.
He said police arrived in the morning on Thursday after registering a case against him.
“Today is Shivaratri and I thought of going to the canal but I wasn’t allowed, depriving me from offering prayers to the gods. If they (police) ask me, I myself would come and answer but they have troubled me since morning,” he alleged.
He claimed that Reddy cannot last long with this police rule and vowed to take all the “crimes” of the ruling party to the people.
“We will definitely fight until we get justice. All these cases and troubles are temporary. Please remember what could happen in the future as well. Remember that tit for tat will always be there,” he warned YSRCP leaders.
There is rivalry in Machilipatnam between Ravindra and Venkatramaiah and a few months ago, Ravindra was arrested for alleged involvement in the murder of an aide of Venkatramaiah.
Getting bail later, he had again accused the Minister of targeting him.
Meanwhile, phone calls to the local SP and ASP to check why Ravindra was arrested went unanswered, though it is speculated that that the skirmishes involving him during the polls on Wednesday were the reason.