Former Chief Minister and president of Telugu Desam Party N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday alleged that Andhra police were acting in a biased manner and harassing TDP cadre by filing cases against them, some under a non-existent section, for their posts on social media. The TDP chief warned Director General of Police Gautam Sawang that he would consider legal action against the police department if they continue harassing his cadre.
Naidu claimed that a malicious social media campaign is being fueled in the state, with abuses and character assassination carried out by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSR Congress supporters.
Addressing the media in Guntur, he said, “Police is acting in a partial manner. If our cadre posts something on social media, they are arresting them but they are taking no action for the complaints against the Jagan supporters.”
Threatening legal action against the police, he said, “We won't tolerate if the law is violated. We would take you to court as culprits.”
Naidu alleged that the police were filing cases under IPC 500 A (Defamation), 153 (Provocation with intent to cause riot), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), and 507 (Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication), and that these are not applicable for posting something on social media — but this is not necessarily the case. He also added that, “defying Supreme Court orders, they are filing cases under 66A IT Act," which has been struck down.
Lashing out at Jagan, he said, “This is not Pulivendula. If you resort to such practices, people will reject you.” (Pulivendula is Jagan's constituency).
Naidu also gave a powerpoint presentation to show the vulgar posts, alleged disinformation and malicious campaign against the TDP by Jagan supporters, and the non-controversial posts by his cadre, which landed them in jail.
Several ‘victims’ of TDP who were allegedly framed by the police for their social media posts appeared before the media and claimed that they were arrested for harmless posts which questioned the government.
“Don’t they have rights?” Naidu asked. “I want to show the people and the DGP, the harassment on our people,” he said.
Former mayor, Anuradha Panchumarti, claimed that Jagan’s supporters are harassing women on social media for speaking against Jagan.
Naidu also took the occasion to blame MP V Vijayasai Reddy, national general secretary of YSRCP, for the death of former speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao. Showing screenshots of tweets of the MP against Kodela, he alleged that Vijaya Sai was responsible for his death.