CM Chandrababu Naidu sat in protest along with Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas and other senior leaders of the TDP.

Police raids on TDP MP Andhra CM Naidu sits in front of Ambedkar statue to protest Image: Twitter/ANI
news Lok Sabha 2019 Friday, April 05, 2019 - 14:33

Hours after the Andhra Pradesh police conducted a search on Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP CM Ramesh’s house in Kadapa district, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu sat on a dharna in Vijayawada on Friday.

Naidu sat in protest along with Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas and other senior leaders of the TDP after garlanding a statue of BR Ambedkar. He alleged that searches were taking place on the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and accused him or arm-twisting the Election Commission of India.

“Today, an unfortunate incident has taken place. To demoralise the TDP, searches are being conducted in the state by the EC on the behalf of YSRCP chief Jagan Mohan Reddy. I condemn it strongly. The Centre is undermining democracy,” Naidu said, hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We have only asked for what is due. Promises were made during bifurcation and none of them have been fulfilled,” he added.

Naidu also alleged a BJP-YSRCP nexus and said that it there was a strong political motive behind the move as it came ahead of the elections.

“All democratic institutions are under threat. It is a serious matter, which is why I have come here instead of going to a scheduled campaign meeting. We will stop all attempts made to undermine democracy no matter how much you threaten us. We will continue fighting for the state’s rights and get Special Category Status (SCS) as it is our right,” the CM said.

Earlier on Friday, Ramesh said that a large police team arrived at his house at around 6 am. He said that no seizures took place from his residence. The TDP MP is a close aide of the Andhra Chief Minister.

Speaking to reporters, Ramesh said, “They said they had orders from above. The police are presently under the control of the Election Commission as the model code of conduct is in place. Anyway, the police are doing their duty but we can’t rule out the interference of the YSRCP and Jagan Mohan Reddy. The EC is under the control of Narendra Modi and Jagan. That’s why they are only targeting TDP leaders.”

Naidu’s protest comes days after the residence of another senior TDP leader and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Trust Board Chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav was searched in Proddatur in Kadapa district. The series of searches on its senior leaders ahead of the elections comes as a set back to the ruling party, but Naidu, by claiming that they were politically motivated, is trying to swing public opinion in his favour.

Andhra Pradesh will go for simultaneous Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly polls on April 11.

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