The Andhra Assembly Elections has once again raised speculation over the political entry of former CBI Joint Director VV Lakshminarayana. This time, the political sphere is abuzz that Lakshminarayana may join the ruling TDP.
Lakshminarayana, who took voluntary retirement from the Indian Police Service (IPS) in April 2018, has probed a number of high-profile cases including the Satyam scam, the disproportionate assets case of YSR Congress chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy among others.
When TNM contacted a source close to the former IPS officer, he said that the TDP leadership is asking Lakshminarayana to join the party. The source said, "TDP is asking him to join the party and contest as an MLA. They want to accommodate him as state Agriculture Minister as he always wanted to serve the farmers."
Reports suggest that Chief Minister and TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu wants Lakshminarayana to contest from Bhimili constituency. However, it is unclear if Lakshminarayana has accepted TDPâ€™s offer. The source close to the former CBI officer told TNM that a clear picture would emerge in a day or two.
Since his voluntary retirement, Lakshminarayana has reached out to young voters in the Telugu states and has interacted with as many as 15 lakh youth. He is believed to be popular amongst educated youngsters. He had also expressed his desire to work for and with rural agrarian communities, whose problems he feels are not being addressed in an appropriate manner.
The YSRCP was quick to hit out at the development, with senior YSRCP leader Ambati Rambabu calling it a ''mala fide nexusâ€ť between Naidu and the former CBI Joint Director. He went on to say, "Our stand that TDP had a nexus with the then CBI investigation officer is vindicated with the cop joining TDP and being given a ticket to contest from Bhimili as reported by TDP mouthpiece newspaper."
He also claimed that the politically motivated case was foisted on Jagan.
The former CBI Joint Director had created a flutter in May 2018 when he attended an RSS convention in the outskirts of Hyderabad. His picture with RSS leaders in Telangana had given rise to speculation that he would be projected as BJPâ€™s Chief Ministerial candidate for the Assembly Elections in Andhra. However, at the time, a source close to Lakshminarayana had pointed out that his attendance as chief guest at the RSS convention was a prior commitment and was not to be interpreted as his decision to join the BJP. Moreover, the former CBI officer reportedly maintained his distance from the BJP given that the party appeared keen on having an electoral understanding with the YSRCP.