Police detains Revanth Reddy, senior Congress leaders ahead of protest
Police have stepped up security near the residence of Revanth at Jubilee Hills
Hyderabad: Police arrested TPCC president Revanth Reddy and a large number of Congress workers when they attempted to reach dharna chowk near Indira Park to organise a statewide protest in support of sarpanchs agitating against the Telangana government for allegedly diverting funds that were released by the 15th Finance Commission for gram panchayats.
Revanth Reddy had been placed under house arrest earlier in the day, along with many other Congress leaders, including PCC senior vice-president Mallu Ravi, working president B. Mahesh Kumar Goud, former MP V. Hanumantha Rao, and Kisan Congress leader M. Kodanda Reddy, after the police denied permission to hold a dharna.
To prevent Revanth Reddy from leading the dharna in Indira Park, authorities deployed a large number of police personnel outside his residence in Jubilee Hills. As he attempted to proceed towards Indira Park, Revanth Reddy was detained and taken to the Bolaram police station.
Party workers gathered there and demanded his immediate release. By the time he was released, their numbers had swelled considerably.
PCC's Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Raj Sanghatan chairman R. Siddeshwar was arrested early in the morning in Shamshabad, followed by the arrests of scores of others, including Khairatabad DCC president C. Rohin Reddy, when they attempted to lay siege to Pragathi Bhavan.
When Congress leaders and workers were on their way to Pragati Bhavan, tempers flared inside Gandhi Bhavan, the Congress headquarters and a scuffle broke out between the police and the party workers. To prevent untoward incidents, the police heightened security at Gandhi Bhavan.
After being released, Revanth Reddy told reporters outside the Bolaram police station that Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao had made a joke of the panchayat raj system by channelling panchayat funds to other departments and trying to usurp the power of gram panchayats, while calling on sarpanchs to question ministers and MLAs about the alleged government diversion of funds.
"These ministers who are enjoying their power and positions should be questioned. I urge everyone, regardless of party allegiance, to boycott their official programmes," he said.
While stating that the BRS government will not last much longer, Revanth Reddy stated that it is only a matter of months before the current political dispensation will be deposed. "Police officers who are behaving tough against the Congress will be identified, and the party, once in power, will not shy away from weighing legal options against the police officials," he said.
Revanth Reddy also questioned the delay in arresting Atheist Association president Bairi Naresh for making derogatory remarks against Lord Ayyappa and saw this as part of a bigger conspiracy by the BRS and the BJP to corner the Congress. "This is another attempt to split the anti-incumbency vote and part of the political strategy of the two political parties with the guiding force like Prashant Kishore,” he remarked.