TRS infighting turns ugly, Kollapur MLA Harshavardhan Reddy arrested
Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent
Reddy was proceeding to the residence of Krishna Rao in response to an 'open challenge' thrown by the latter for a public debate
B. Harshavardhan Reddy. (DC FIle Image)
Hyderabad: The infighting in the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) turned murkier on Sunday when party's MLA B. Harshavardhan Reddy was arrested by police when he was on his way to the residence of former minister Jupally Krishna Rao. Harshavardhan Reddy represents the Kollapur Assembly constituency in Mahbubnagar district.
Harshavardhan Reddy was proceeding to the residence of Krishna Rao in response to an 'open challenge' thrown by the latter for a public debate on corruption and development in the Kollapur constituency during their tenures. Tension prevailed in Kollapur as the supporters of Harshavardhan Reddy and Krishna Rao gathered in large numbers at their residences and threatened to attack each other if anyone tries to obstruct the public debate.
Both the TRS leaders have been at loggerheads since 2019 due to which the party has been vertically split into two groups in Kollapur with each group trying to dominate the other.
The infighting began after Harshavardhan Reddy, who was elected on a Congress ticket in 2018 Assembly polls defeating TRS candidate Jupally Krishna Rao, defected to the TRS later. The TRS leadership welcomed Harshavardhan Reddy into the party fold despite stiff opposition from Jupally and his supporters.
Since the induction of Harshavardhan Reddy, both the leaders and their supporters are openly fighting on the streets causing embarrassment to the party leadership. The repeated attempts by the party leadership to patch up the differences between the two proved futile in the last three years.
TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao had visited the residence of Krishna Rao in Kollapur last week and asked him to take part in the party’s and the government’s programmes actively along with Harshavardhan Reddy. But Rama Rao's efforts failed to bear fruit as Krishna Rao levelled serious corruption charges against the MLA soon after Rama Rao’s visit and dared the MLA to come for an open debate at the Ambedkar Chowk on Sunday.
In response, the MLA declared that he would visit Krishna Rao’s residence for debate as political activity at the Ambedkar Chowk would cause inconvenience to people. The police, however, refused to grant permission to hold any public debates in the town citing law and order issues.
The incumbent MLA, however, went ahead with scores of his supporters to visit Krishna Rao's residence, forcing the police to intervene and take him into custody.
The arrest triggered protests from the MLA's supporters who staged a dharna at the bus station demanding the release of their leader.
Krishna Rao, however. termed the incident a 'political drama', enacted by Harshavardhan Reddy and accused the latter of getting himself arrested to skip the public debate.
Later, Harshavardhan Reddy stated that he had all the evidence against Krishna Rao to prove how he looted banks by defaulting on loans, resorted to corruption and failed to develop the Kollapur constituency during his stint as the minister and MLA earlier. He said he tried to expose all his misdeeds before the people but Krishna Rao prevented him from coming to his residence by approaching the police.