Jagan resumes campaign amid TDP-YSRCP war of words; Police probe ‘attempt to murder’

The police detained a few persons and are treating it as a case of attempt to murder the chief minister under Section 307.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 15, 2024 | 2:57 PMUpdatedApr 15, 2024 | 7:32 PM

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy after receiving treatment on Saturday. (X)

Tension escalated in Andhra Pradesh for the third day in a row, with YSRCP leaders and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu slamming each other over alleged stone-pelting on them during their respective election campaigns.

The police stepped up an investigation into the attack on YSRCP leader and Andhra Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at Daba Kotlu Centre in Singh Nagar area Vijayawada on Saturday when the power supply in the locality was off.

The TDP, on the other hand, is daring the state government to order a full-fledged probe.

The attack occurred when the chief minister’s convoy passed the Vivekananda School Centre in the locality. It was suspected that the miscreants may have hidden in one of the rooms and thrown the stone at the chief minister.

It hit him and former minister and Vijayawada West MLA Vellampalli Srinivas. Social media visuals showed Jagan taking the hit while waving at the people standing atop the campaign vehicle.

Also Read: Jagan hurt above eye

‘Attempt to murder’ case made out

He appeared to lose balance when hit. The impact threw him sideways. His aides immediately rushe to his help, and the doctors stitched the injury above his eye.

The police detained a few persons and are confident of a breakthrough soon. They treat it as an attempt to murder the chief minister. A special investigation team is looking for the accused.

Meanwhile, the TDP requested the Election Commission for a CBI inquiry into the lapses in the chief minister’s security.

Former Rajya Sabha member Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, in a complaint to the poll body, sought the transfer of DPG KV Rajendranath Reddy, Vijayawada Commissioner of Police Kranti Rana Tata and DG Intelligence PSR Anjaneyulu for failing to provide foolproof security to the chief minister.

Citing attacks on N Chandrababu Naidu’s convoy in Mangalagiri in the past, he said that the investigation in these cases was biased, and the culprits were left off.

In his letter, he recalled the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Chilakaluripet on 17 March this year and how the police did not punish those responsible.

Related: YSRCP blames TDP for attack

Tight security for Jagan yatra

Jagan Mohan Reddy resumed his Memantha Siddham Yatra on Monday, 15 April at Kesarapally near Gannavaram. The police made elaborate security arrangements for his convoy.

The police are not allowing people to shower flower petals on him or throw garlands at him. They have restricted honouring Jagna Mohan Reddy with Gaja Malas (giant garlands) with the help of cranes. The chief minister is expected to address people at Gudivada in Krishna district later in the evening.

Chandrababu Naidu, while addressing election rallies in Gajuwaka in the erstwhile Visakhapatnam district on Sunday evening, said he would ferret out the truth behind the “attack” on Jagan Mohan Reddy. Recalling unscrupulous elements rained stones on his convoy, too, the former chief minister grew livid and said that such attacks could not cow him down.

He said: “I wasn’t afraid of even claymore mines. Would stone pelting scare me?”  He was referring to the Naxalite attack on him at Alipiri in Tirupati on 1 October 2003 when he was the chief minister of the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Can see through Jagan’s game plan: Naidu

He said that when Jagan Mohan Reddy was attacked, there was no power supply in the area, but there was enough illumination when the attack took place. He described his attackers as “blade and ganja batches” and said that he could see through Jagan Mohan Reddy’s game plan. “I was the chief minister for 14 years. I know how police provide security to the chief minister,” he said.

On Sunday, YSRCP general secretary and advisor to the State government (Public Affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said that had the object hit Jagan a little lower, he would have lost his eye.  He wondered aloud who would want to attack the chief minister except the TDP.

The TDP leaders are on edge as the response to Jagan’s campaign was overwhelming. For the benefit of the media, he also played a video in which Chandrababu Naidu, likening the YSRCP to a buffalo, asked party workers to throw stones at it. He probably meant to convey that TDP workers may be allegedly behind the attack on him.

Jagan Mohan Reddy’s sister and APCC President YS Sharmila, though she was campaigning against her brother, condemned the attack and said she was praying to God to help him recover fast.