The Telugu Desam Party has called for protests across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after a local court in Maharashtra’s Nanded district on Thursday issued an arrest warrant against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and 15 others, The Indian Express reported.
The warrant has been issued in a 2010 case related to a protest against the Babhali reservoir project across the Godavari river, PTI reported. Justice NR Gajbhiye of the Dharmabad court ordered the accused to be arrested and produced in court by September 21.
Naidu’s son and state Information Technology Minister Lokesh Nara said his father and the other party leaders would appear in court. “He fought to protect the interests of Telangana,” Lokesh added. “He even refused to seek bail when he was arrested.”
“It is unfortunate that an arrest warrant has been issued against Naidu,” ANI quoted Telugu Desam Party spokesperson Lanka Dinakar as saying. “It appears that there is some conspiracy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and [Bharatiya Janata Party National President] Amit Shah.”
The party’s president in Telangana, L Ramana, said the BJP was afraid of the alliance that the party has formed in Telangana and hence was trying to intimidate it. Ramana was referring to the alliance that the party has formed in the state along with the Congress and the Communist Party of India ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections.
Apart from Naidu, Andhra Pradesh Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and Social Welfare Minister N Anand Babu, former MLA G Kamalakar, who later joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, have been booked for the protests. Naidu, who was in the Opposition in 2010, had been arrested after the protests. When he refused to apply for bail, the Maharashtra government airlifted him to Hyderabad, according to Deccan Herald.
The demonstrators have been charged with assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, an act endangering life or personal safety of others and for criminal intimidation.