Andhra BJP chief Purandeswari demands apology from CM Jagan, sends legal notice for remarks on drug haul

In the notice, Purandeswari has demanded an unconditional apology from chief minister Jagan within seven days from the date of receipt, failing which civil and criminal proceedings will be initiated against him.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 03, 2024 | 5:49 PMUpdatedApr 03, 2024 | 5:52 PM

Andhra BJP chief Daggubati Purandeswari during a public meeting (X)

Daggubati Purandeswari, president of Andhra Pradesh BJP unit, on Monday, 1 April, served a legal notice to YSRCP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. The notice came over his remarks, linking narcotics haul in Visakhapatnam to her family.

Purandeswari’s legal notice issued through her advocate highlights recent “false and defamatory statements” published in Sakshi Newspaper, owned by Jagathi Publications Ltd., over three continuous days from 22 March to 24 March.

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Allegations of defamation

The report allegedly linked Purandeswari’s family to a drug seizure at the Visakhapatnam port, claiming that twenty-five thousand kilos of cocaine were caught in a consignment under the name of Sandhya Aqua Exports Pvt. Ltd, from Brazil.

The notice clarifies that Purandeswari’s family members are not related to Kunam Veerabhadra Rao, the Managing Director of Sandhya Aqua Exports Pvt. Ltd, as alleged in the publication. It also states that her family members were not business partners of Sandhya Aqua Exports Pvt Ltd.

According to the notice, despite clarifications issued by Purandeswari, Chief Minister Jagan purportedly repeated these defamatory remarks during a public meeting in Prodduturu, YSR District on 27 March.

The chief minister alleged that the culprits who imported drugs are relatives of Purandeswari. He said that her son and her daughter’s father-in-law, are directors of Sandhya Aqua Export Pvt Ltd, which imported the alleged consignment of drugs.

Purandeswari asserts that these statements are baseless and made with a malicious intent to tarnish her and her family’s reputation. She also contends that they have caused considerable distress to her and her family members.

In the notice, Purandeswari has demanded an unconditional apology from chief minister Jagan within seven days from the date of receipt. The notice warns that failure to comply will result in civil and criminal proceedings against him.

The state BJP chief has also demanded a compensation of ₹20 crores from Jagathi Publications and others for the defamation caused by publishing the article.

“Being the Chief Minister and the president of YSRC, you have moral and legal responsibility to verify the factual position before making a public statement,’’ the notice read.

Purandeswari further said the remarks made against her were in violation of the Model Code of Conduct, and that she would also approach the Election Commission seeking action against Chief Minister Jagan.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)