Naidu Accustomed to Killing Rivals, Says Jagan on Uncle's Death, Urges Guv to Order CBI Probe
Hours later, the Andhra CM said the slain leader’s family appeared "prima facie guilty as they not only tried to hide the murder but also destroyed vital forensic evidence”.
File photos of Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and YSRC president Jaganmohan Reddy.
Hyderabad: Politics in Andhra Pradesh took a murky turn on Saturday after forensic examination revealed that YS Vivekananda Reddy, former minister and younger brother of late Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, was murdered.
What followed was a war of words between the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. Alleging Naidu’s involvement in the murder of his uncle Vivekanada, Jaganmohan urged Governor ESL Narasimhan to order a CBI inquiry.
Hours after Jagan demanded a CBI probe, Naidu lashed out at the YSRCP chief at a hurriedly-called press conference. He alleged that the slain leader’s family appeared "prima facie guilty as they not only tried to hide the murder but also "destroyed vital forensic evidence”.
Naidu said, “Vivekananda's family tried to hide the fact that it was a murder till the post-mortem was done. Why was he killed?" All facts related to the case have to be comprehensively established, he added.
Rejecting the YSRCP chief’s demand for a CBI investigation, Naidu said the demand was raised only to get away from the case.
"This has become like a fiction. The scene of offence was disturbed and they tried to make it appear that the death was due to heart attack. Step-by-step they tried to hide everything and also destroy evidence. They did not even call police. They even made police officers believe it was a heart attack and said they did not want a case (filed)," Naidu said.
"Truth is truth. Nothing can be hidden. They wanted to use a family member’s murder for political gains. It’s a misfortune to have such a leader in politics," Naidu said, hitting out at the YSR Congress Party chief.
Police had initially registered a case under Section 174 CrPC (unnatural death) when Reddy's body was found by his staff early in the morning. After post-mortem in the local government hospital, police said the case was altered to Section 302 IPC that relates to murder.
The chief minister said Pulivendula police inspector Sankaraiah failed in discharging his duties properly as he let the family members shift the former minister’s body to hospital without completion of an inquest.
"It was such a severe injury to the head that the brain popped out. Deadly weapons were used (in the crime). The family changed tune in the evening only after the post-mortem established facts," Naidu said.
Later, talking to reporters at Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad, Jagan accused the TDP president of mud-slinging and using YSRCP for political benefits. “The chief minister has conspired against the YSRC to reduce its prospects in the upcoming elections and forced his henchmen to finish my uncle who was a noted gentleman,” Jagan said.
He also questioned why the TDP government transferred the SP of the district about 40 days before the murder. “I took up the issue with the DGP and SP concerned and the SP showed me a letter that was allegedly written by my uncle. It said that his driver killed him. How is it possible that my uncle wrote a letter about his own killing?” Jagan asked.
“This is all stage-managed by Naidu, who is accustomed to killing his rivals and those with mass following during the polls,” he said.
“Naidu plotted my uncle's murder and now he’s blaming me for the incident. All facts will come out if a CBI inquiry is conducted, he said.
Reddy said the Naidu government had even tried to kill him at Vizag Airport through a waiter, identified as J Srinivasa Rao, who stabbed Jagan with a knife in October last year.
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