Telangana BJP chief stages indefinite fast after raids on MLA candidate relative’s home

BJP state president Bandi Sanjay was taken into custody while police were conducting raids at the home of a BJP Dubbaka bye-poll candidate’s relative on Monday.
BJP Telangana state president Bandi Sanjay being attended by team of doctors
BJP Telangana state president Bandi Sanjay being attended by team of doctors
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Tensions in Karimnagar continued to mount as Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay sat in protest at the district office, hours after his arrest on the outskirts of Siddipet. Bandi Sanjay was taken into custody while heading to Siddipet where police were conducting raids at the home of BJP Dubbaka bye-poll candidate Raghunandan Rao's relative on Monday.

Of the Rs 18.65 lakh seized, police claimed that over Rs 12 lakh were “looted” by BJP activists. The BJP, however, has alleged that the money was planted by the police to sabotage the BJP and book Raghunandan. 

Bandi Sanjay, while addressing the media in Karimnagar, came down heavily on the police, alleging that the Siddipet police were acting at the behest of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). He questioned the raids in Siddipet when the election was due to take place soon in Dubbaka. He alleged, "The money distribution is happening from the farmhouse of KCR," while challenging the police to conduct raids there.

Soon BJP leaders across the state began to stage protests, alleging "mistreatment" and "manhandling" of Bandi Sanjay as a video of him being detained by the police went viral. KCR's effigy was burnt in several places. Meanwhile, the BJP president demanded the suspension of the Siddipet Police Commissioner.

Several BJP Yuva Morcha activists were detained in Hyderabad after they attempted to barge into the state Director General of Police's (DGP) office, alleging attacks on BJP on Tuesday afternoon. 

Bandi Sanjay is currently undergoing an indefinite fast (Deeksha). At the time of writing, he was being attended to by a team of doctors. State leaders, including Nizamabad MP Arvind Dharmapuri, have reached Karimnagar to express solidarity with Bandi Sanjay.

Meanwhile, a video has been released by authorities allegedly of the raid at Raghunandan's relatives' house in Siddipet. The video allegedly shows family members putting all the cash found at their home in a bag and handing it over to police personnel. Officials said that this took place before the fiasco where alleged BJP workers snatched the money that had been seized and fled with it. 

In a related development, police have beefed up security at Chief Minister's official residence Pragati Bhavan in Hyderabad. 

State BJP leaders have submitted a complaint to the Telangana state Chief Election Officer, alleging that police are implicating "innocent" BJP workers. They have also sought an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the incidents that took place on Monday, beside seeking the deployment of central forces to ensure the peaceful conduct of the bye-election.

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