High drama took place on Monday night at the residence of Congress candidate Vanteru Pratap Reddy from Gajwel, who is up against Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in the upcoming polls in the state, tried immolating himself with petrol after alleging police harassment. According to the Cyberabad police in Hyderabad, they received a complaint and went to check the residence of Reddy in Kompally. Reddy, however, came out and alleged political vendetta, and threatened immolation. According to Times of India, though his aides alleged that Reddy was arrested, police said that they did not file any case.
Earlier on Saturday, Gajwel police had detained Reddy after he staged a hunger strike in front of the office of the Returning Officer of Gajwel constituency alleging that Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders were tapping his phone and accused the ruling party of bribing voters with a free flow of liquor and cash.
Alleging a threat to his life, he also appealed to the Election Commission to step up vigil in the constituency. As he refused to budge from his sit-in, the police reached the spot and forcibly evicted him. Visuals of the incident showed him resisting attempts by police personnel to pull him into their vehicle, even as his supporters shouted slogans in his support. His aides were also detained later.
High drama at Grand Alliance/Congress candidate Vanteru Pratap Reddy residence in Hyderabad after police teams reached there for searches. Reddy is constesting against KCR from Gajwel. Pratap Reddy says this is political vendetta. #Telangana #Telangana2018 #TelanganaElection2018 pic.twitter.com/LBwcy2NMi9— Rishika Sadam (@RishikaSadam) November 26, 2018
Reddy later got himself admitted at the Yashoda Hospital in Secunderabad with doctors saying that he witnessed a dip in his blood pressure. Vanteru Pratap Reddy, a local strongman who defected to the Congress from the TDP has been campaigning ever since the Assembly was dissolved on September 6, months before he was announced as a candidate.
In 2014, despite being in the TDP, a party considered against the formation of Telangana, Reddy got 34.48% of the vote share in Gajwel against the Chief Minister's 44.42%.
KCR himself, is determined to prove that he still enjoys the support of the public as he is only contesting from the Gajwel seat, unlike 2014, when he had contested from two places, including the Medak Lok Sabha seat.
Meanwhile, Gajwel candidate representing Samajwadi Forward Bloc, K Dinesh Chakravarthy is reportedly ‘missing’. SFB National President Muralidhar Rao filed a petition in the High Court claiming that Dinesh is missing since November 22, after he filed his nomination. Hearing the petition, the HC directed police to find the missing candidate within 24 hours.
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