Stone pelting at CM Jagan: TDP calls it ‘drama’, says Jagan deserves an Oscar

TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh alleged that the attack was orchestrated by CM Jagan himself. He claimed it was similar to the 2018 knife attack and suggested that he try “something new” this time.
Chandrababu Naidu, Jagan
Chandrababu Naidu, Jagan
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After Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was injured in a suspected stone attack during an election campaign in Vijayawada on April 13, a blame game has ensued between the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP). While YSRCP has blamed TDP for the attack, saying they were rattled by the huge turnout for Jagan’s bus yatra in Vijayawada, TDP leaders have alleged that the attack is a ‘drama’ staged by the ruling party to gain sympathy from voters. 

Although TDP chief Chandababu Naidu condemned the attack and called for an impartial inquiry by the Election Commission of India, other party leaders including his son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh have take a different stand. They have mocked Jagan, for allegedly fabricating the attack to gain sympathy. They have also compared the incident to the 2018 attack on Jagan with a ‘kodi kathhi’ (knife used in rooster fights), before the previous election. 

The ‘kodi katthi’ incident happened on October 25, 2018 at the Visakhapatnam airport, when Jagan was allegedly attacked by a man named Janepalli Srinivasa Rao. Srinivasa Rao was a worker at a restaurant at the airport. Jagan suffered a small cut on his left shoulder in the attack. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigated the incident, anc concluded that Srinivasa Rao was operating alone, and he was not associated with any political party or part of a criminal conspiracy. Though NIA court denied him bail, Srinivasa Rao was granted bail recently in February by the Andhra Pradesh High Court. 

Lokesh said that the stone hurling incident was similar to the 2018 ‘kodi kathhi’ incident before the previous election. Terming the incident as ‘#KodiKathiDrama2’, Lokesh said, “Where did the stone come from? It came from the Tadepalli palace (Jagan’s official residence). Try something new Jagan.”

The party’s social media account too has continued to mock the incident. “Kodi katthi dramas are your agenda. Our agenda is to reverse them,” one tweet said. The party also insinuated that Jagan was only pretending to be hurt. 

They also questioned the doctors’ advice to Jagan to take a break from his election campaign bus yatra, questioning why an eyebrow injury warrants rest from going out. 

The party also tweet a few lines from the title track of Kamal Haasan’s Dasavathaaram, insinuating that he was an excellent performer deserving an Oscar for allegedly “acting” like he was a victim of stone-pelting.

TDP spokesperson Kommareddy Pattabhi Ram said that the party condemns the attack. He also said that the party believes “this is some kind of drama enacted by Jagan and YSRCP, because we all know Jagan has great expertise in enacting these kind of dramas. We have seen hoe he enacted a similar drama before the 2019 elections at the Vizag airport. He knows that he has lost the faith of people in Andhra Pradesh completely… he hatched this conspiracy just to gain sympathy and accumulate votes.” He said the incident was also aimed at creating unrest during elections. 

He also questioned how there was a power cut during the bus yatra, as elaborate arrangements are usually made for the CM to avoid such disruptions. He asked why Jagan’s security did not remove him from the location immediately after the attack and allowed to remain in public view and be photographed by media for a brief period.  

On Saturday, April 13, the YSRCP chief sustained an injury on his left eyebrow after being hit by a stone. Doctors immediately provided first aid to him on the bus. As part of ‘Memantha Siddham Yatra’, the Chief Minister was standing on a special campaign bus to greet people.

YSRCP MLA Vellampalli Srinivas, who was standing next to Jagan, sustained an injury in his left eye. The incident occurred at Singh Nagar Dhaba Kotla Centre when the YSRCP Chief was campaigning for his party’s candidates for next month’s Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. YSRCP has blamed TDP for the incident, calling it a targeted attack. 

Vellampalli Srinivas said, “When lakhs of people gathered in support of CM Jagan, some miscreants saw an opportunity and deliberately attacked the Chief Minister. The power supply was cut off at that time, and they seized the opportunity to carry out the attack.” He blamed Naidu for the attack. 

Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani on the other hand accused Lokesh of allegedly orchestrating the attack. YSRCP Minister Gudivada Amarnath even invoked the sensational murder of Kapu leader and then Congress MLA Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga in 1988 and said, “It is the TDP that plotted the death of Vangaveeti in Vijayawada. Afraid of Jagan getting massive public response in his rallies, Chandrababu Naidu came up with yet another cunning plot to hamper Jagan’s morale.”

Read: How Vangaveeti-Devineni clans and their blood feud shifted political discourse in Andhra Pradesh

Following the incident, Jagan resumed the bus yatra after receving first aid. He was then taken to the Vijayawada Government General Hospital, where doctors stitched the wound. With doctors advising rest, YSRCP has announced a break on the bus yatra on April 14. 

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