VIJAYAWADA: A drunken man attacked transport minister Perni Venkataramaiah alias Nani with a trowel at Machilipatnam on Sunday. The minister escaped unhurt and the attacker was arrested. The incident took place when the minister was performing rituals to his mother Nageswaramma, who passed away recently, at his residence.
The man, identified as Badugu Nageswara Rao, a mason by occupation, came up to the minister, pretended to touch his feet and attacked him with the trowel. The first blow hit the minister on the waist belt.
An Anganwadi teacher G. Padma, standing beside the minister, screamed for help and restrained the accused. When the Nageswara Rao tried to attack the minister again, security personnel and the minister’s followers caught him. The shirt of the minister was torn, but he escaped without injuries
Nageswara Rao was found to be in an inebriated condition. The attacker, who hails from Chemmanagiripeta of Godugupeta in Machilipatnam, claimed to have visited the minister’s residence to seek work.
Speaking to media persons, the minister said many people from nearby villages came to his residence to attend his mother’s ceremony. “When I was coming out of my residence, a man came towards me and tried to touch my feet. But he took out a small trowel used for masonry and attacked me in my abdomen,” the minister recalled.
"The weapon brushed the belt buckle of my trouser. The person tried to attack me once again, but the people around me caught him,'' he said. The minister said he saw the attacker a couple of times but was not really sure of the reason behind the attack.
Quoting preliminary information, Krishna district SP Ravindranath Babu said the attacker is the brother of a Telugu Desam woman leader Uma Devi and a sympathiser of the TD.
He said the police were trying to find out the reason behind the attacker carrying a sharp trowel and would also investigate the political angle and other motives behind the attack.
The SP said the police had shifted the accused to a government hospital for medical tests. Circle inspector Venkataramana said the attacker was in an inebriated condition and the police are investigating his criminal history.
Civil supplies minister Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao, YSRC leader Talasila Raghuram, MLAs Jogi Ramesh and Vallabhaneni Vamsi called up Perni Nani and enquired about his well-being.
Later, home minister Mekatothi Sucharita met minister Nani in the evening and inquired about the incident. She said a thorough investigation would be conducted. DGP Goutam Sawang, along with other officials, visited the minister’s house and inquired about the incident.
APJAC Amaravati leader Bopparaju Venkateswarlu and Y.V. Rao condemned the attack and demanded the government to take stern actions against the accused and others who were responsible for the attack.
Former minister and TD leader Kollu Ravindra, however, refuted allegations of YSRC leaders about involvement of their party in the attack. He said the Telugu Desam has connected with the attacker. He demanded a transparent investigation in the attack and further demanded the ruling party to stop mudslinging against the TD....