The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday directed the Andhra Pradesh police to register a case against MLA Bode Prasad from the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), based on a complaint filed by YSRCP MLA RK Roja.
The bench gave the orders while hearing a plea by Roja, who had moved the court in August this year. Roja had filed a complaint with the Penamaluru police in Krishna district against Bode Prasad because he allegedly made derogatory comments against her. "My complaint was filed on July 14 and it has not been registered as an FIR till now,” Roja's petition at the time, reportedly read.
It all began after Roja alleged that several TDP leaders were part of the ‘call money’ racket and also repeatedly named Bode Prasad as one of them.
In July, in response to Roja’s allegations, Bode Prasad said, “Is she a woman? My stomach has been burning for three-and-a-half years. Every time she refers to me as 'Bode Prasad - sex racket - call money'. I'm telling this in presence of reporters and members of our constituency. Based on her behaviour, our people will believe, if I say that she is a prostitute (vyabichari).”
“Or else, they will even believe if I say she is running a brothel. She accused me of being involved in a sex racket, but did she call me while running a brothel herself?" he further said.
Bode Prasad’s rant against Roja had sparked outrage in the YSRCP, and the party sought police action.
The ‘call money’ racket came to light in 2015 when some victims approached the Vijayawada Police Commissioner, alleging that they were being sexually exploited by money lenders. The racket came to be called ‘call money’ because people could call a money lender and receive a loan, which came with exorbitant interest rates. Women were allegedly sexually exploited when they failed to repay the loan. Venigalla Srinivas, who is among one of the accused, was said to be closely associated with Bode Prasad.