Opposition parties demanded that the minister be removed from the Cabinet over his act.

A screengrab of the video showing Andhra minister appala raju abusing police personnel
news Controversy Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 08:48

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's four-hour-long visit to the port city of Visakhapatnam on Wednesday, February 9, to attend a function was marred by controversies. State Animal Husbandry Minister Sidiri Appala Raju was caught on video shoving a police inspector and threatening him in abusive language after the former's followers were prevented entry into the ashram which the Chief Minister visited.

The opposition parties demanded that the minister be removed from the Cabinet over his act. The road leading to the Visakhapatnam Airport was sealed off leaving passengers stranded kilometres away. Following this, passengers sat on a protest and wondered how they could be prevented from going to the airport to catch their flights. Also, shops and businesses on the Airport-Gopalapaltnam-Pendurthi road were shut for the Chief Minister's visit.

Interestingly, a lone government liquor vend was found open and carrying on business as usual. A video clip of this too, went viral on social media. Visakhapatnam city Commissioner of Police Manish Sinha, however, told PTI that everything was done as per the security protocol. No businesses were closed. Airport road was blocked during the movement of the convoy as per the security protocol, Sinha said.

On the incident involving the minister, he said the minister was not stopped from entering. Persons accompanying him were stopped as they were not having the pass issued by the ashram. The minister chose not to enter alone and left, the police officer said.

The Chief Minister visited the Sarada Peetham to take part in its anniversary. Minister Appala Raju, along with his followers, reached the ashram but only he was allowed in. Taking exception to this, the minister was seen arguing with the police inspector posted there. Shoving the inspector away, and abusing him in derogatory language, Appala Raju demanded that the Commissioner of Police himself come to him and give an explanation, though an Assistant Commissioner of Police sought to pacify him.

There were two or three state officials with me. One of them was prevented entry. The gate was shut on my face. He did it deliberately, the minister told PTI. The inspector spoke in a rude manner to a minister. He should not have behaved like that, Appala Raju added. The minister, however, said he was not pressing for any action against the police official.

BJP state general secretary S Vishnuvardhan Reddy condemned the Animal Husbandry Minister's behaviour and demanded that he be immediately removed from the Cabinet. Vishnu demanded that a case be registered against the Minister and he be arrested for his action against the police officials. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) too demanded that Appala Raju be sacked from the Council of Ministers. TDP senior leader Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy hit out at the State Director General of Police DG Sawang for remaining silent over the incident.

"How could the police create a curfew-like atmosphere and paralyse normal life for the Chief Minister's visit? The Chief Minister should tender an apology to the people for causing such inconvenience, the former minister demanded.

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