TDP leader held in grampanchayat election case, Naidu condemns arrest

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Amaravati, Feb 2 (PTI) Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Andhra Pradesh unit Chief Kinjarapu Atchannaidu was on Tuesday arrested in connection with a gram panchayat election-related case in which he was facing a charge of alleged criminal intimidation.

Atchannaidu was listed an accused, along with 21 others, in the case in Nimmada village in Srikakulam district, police sources said.

Already 11 other TDP workers have been arrested in the case, they said.

The allegation against the accused was that they threatened the ruling YSR Congress candidate K Appanna against filing his nomination for the sarpanch post in Nimmada.

An alleged telephonic conversation, wherein Atchannaidu threatened Appanna was also leaked.

Atchannaidu and Appanna are closely related and some of the main accused in the case too are kinfolks.

The sarpanch post was never contested in previous polls over the last three decades as Nimmada is the native village of Atchannaidu and his late brother and former Union Minister K Yerrannaidu.

It was a TDP stronghold owing to the Kinjarapu family.

In the ongoing elections to the gram panchayats, the YSRC sought to put up its candidate for the village sarpanch post and that caused a scuffle two days ago with both sides levelling allegations at each other of violent attacks.

The nomination process for the first phase election, due on February 9, ended on January 31.

Following Sunday's incident, a case was registered against Atchannaidu, some of his kin and followers but the YSRC activists were spared.

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu condemned his deputys arrest and called it the height of (Chief Minister) Jagans vendetta politics.

The YSRC leaders created a tense atmosphere in a village (Nimmada) that always remained peaceful for decades, Chandrababu Naidu said in a release.

He sought to know why no case was registered against YSRC local in-charge D Srinivas, who was the man 'solely responsible' for the violence in Nimmada.

Chandrababu Naidu demanded that the cases foisted on Atchannaidu be withdrawn and he be released forthwith. PTI DBV.

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