High drama prevailed at Telangana’s Siddipet district after police arrested the state’s BJP unit president Bandi Sanjay, hours after it conducted raids on Raghunandan Rao, who is the party’s candidate for the upcoming Dubbaka bye-election. Earlier on Monday, police seized Rs 18.65 lakh from the house of Raghunandan's relative in Siddipet. However, BJP activists at the scene claimed that the money was being planted by police to sabotage the party and began running away with the seized cash. Police said that over Rs 12 lakh was ‘looted’ by BJP workers.
Even as the issue was brewing, BJP state president Karimanagar MP Bandi Sanjay headed to Siddipet only to be arrested and sent back to Karimanagar. The Siddipet police cited "law and order" issues with the presence of Sanjay in the town and said that his entry could have led to trouble. A video of the BJP state president being bundled into a police vehicle has gone viral on social media as he was said to have been injured. The leader was later released in Karimnagar, where he addressed the media condemning the alleged excess of the police.
Bandi Sanjay said that the police in Siddipet were acting at the behest of the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). He questioned the need for raids in Siddipet when the elections are happening in Dubbaka. "The money distribution is happening from the farmhouse of KCR," he alleged, challenging the police to conduct raids there.
Speaking to reporters, Raghunandan Rao said that the police have searched his family member’s house without giving any warrant or notice. He alleged that the police had tried to plant the money and book him.
Meanwhile, police also detained BJP leaders G Vivek and P Jitender Reddy and sent them back to Hyderabad. On learning about the incident and arrest of party leaders, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy rushed to Siddipet from Hyderabad. He met Raghunandan and other party leaders, who alleged that the TRS government hatched a conspiracy to frame them.
"Brutal assault and unjustifiable arrest of BJP state president Bandi Sanjay and other former MPs in Siddipet today is an undemocratic and disgraceful act by the administration. Strongly condemn this," he tweeted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also said to have had a telephonic conversation with Bandi Sanjay on Monday evening, to enquire about the incident.