Political tempers suddenly heated up in Telugu states, after a non-bailable arrest warrant has been issued against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and 15 others, ahead of advanced polls in Telangana state. A court in Maharashtra has ordered the police to arrest and produce Naidu and others before it by September 21.
The arrest warrant was issued in connection with a protest in 2010 when Naidu and others were opposing a water project in Babli (Maharashtra) across the Godavari. The police had then arrested Naidu and others and lodged them in a jail in Pune. They were later released.
At that time, as Leader of Opposition of the then united Andhra Pradesh, TDP chief Naidu was was protesting on the grounds that the Babli project would adversely affect people in Andhra Pradesh. The arrest warrant has been issued by judicial first class magistrate of Dharmabad in Nanded district of Maharashtra, based on a petition filed by a local resident.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister and others have been charged under the Indian Penal Code with offenses like assault or criminal force, to deter public servant from discharge of duty, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, act endangering life or personal safety of others, criminal intimidation, among others.
This warrant gained significant, as it was issued after four days of a film star Shivaji, who has been agitating against the Centre seeking special status for Andhra Pradesh, as per the assurance given in the Parliament during bifurcaiton of thes tate, alleged that the Narendra Modi government and BJP leadership was conspired against TDP government under `Operation Garuda’. He predicted that with in a couple of days, a statutary authority will issue notices against Chandrababu Naidu.
Meanwhile, Naidu’s party, the Telegu Desam Party (TDP), has alleged that the arrest warrant is handiwork of the BJP. TDP spokesperson Lanka Dinakar said the BJP is “plotting the arrest warrant”. He said the BJP is “targeting” Naidu because he moved out of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. Naidu’s son and state IT Minister, N Lokesh said his father and other TDP leaders will appear before the court. “He fought to protect the interests of Telangana. He even refused to seek bail when he was arrested,” he added.
AP Minister N Ananda Babu, who was also among 20 MLAs, who accompanied Naidu at that time, wondered that how the court can issue warrant against them, after keeping silence for eight years. He recalled that at that time they were released `unconditionally’, after Congress governments in Maharashtra and AP consulting each other. “We didn’t taken bail and the government at that time announced no case was registered”, he added.