The Telangana Police arrested Congress Working President and legislator Revanth Reddy from his home in Kodangal in Vikarabad district early on Tuesday ahead of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s election rally in the area, reported The News Minute. However, he was released in the evening, PTI reported, citing police officials.
The state is set to go to the polls on Friday. Revanth is the Congress candidate from Kodangal.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Jitender told The Times of India that Reddy was taken into preventive custody as he had “given a call to obstruct” Rao’s public meeting in Kosgi. “Revanth’s arrest decision was taken in view of maintaining law and order,” Jitender said. He was released after Rao’s meeting finished and was returned home.
Reddy’s brothers, gunmen and the watchman of his home were also taken into custody, according to the Hindustan Times. It is not known if they have been released.
Reddy accused the police of being biased. “Hundreds of police personnel broke doors and barged into my house and dragged me away while I was sleeping at 4 am,” he claimed. “The incident reflects the state of affairs of the conditions under which people are living.”
“This is highly undemocratic,” said the Congress leader’s wife Geetha Reddy. “He [Reddy] has only asked the people to question the government for neglecting the constituency by the TRS government in the last four years and not implementing the promises.” She urged Reddy’s supporters not to indulge in violence.
The police arrested Revanth Reddy after local leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi lodged a complaint with state Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar and Director General of Police Mahendar Reddy, accusing the Congress leader of instigating people to create law and order problems during the chief minister’s meeting.
In a letter, the poll panel asked the director general of police “to take all necessary measures” to ensure that the meeting is not disrupted. Prohibitory orders also in place in the area.
Congress defends ‘star campaigner’ Revanth Reddy
Congress President Rahul Gandhi condemned Reddy’s arrest. “The Telangana Rashtra Samithi cannot stop a Congress wave with arrests,” he tweeted. “Revanth Reddy’s arrest is the pinnacle of K Chandrasekhar Rao’s dictatorship. The days to end this anti-people governance are nearing. The arrest was due to fear of defeat. People are going to give Rao rest.”
The Congress alleged that official machinery was being used by the chief minister to derail the campaign activities of the party and prevent Reddy, the party’s “star campaigner”, from participating in the campaigning.
“The caretaker chief minister also has to be treated as former MLA only, but you seem to have treated him as a chief minister and gave instructions under the influence of the state machinery to prevent Revanth Reddy and kept them under preventive arrest,” the Congress said in a letter to state Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar.
The party asked why the commission had not acted against Rao for threatening Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu from entering Telangana and instigating people of the state against Naidu. “This shows your double standards for which we will not hesitate to proceed against you in a court of law,” the party added.