Andhra Pradesh police on Friday night arrested Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and former Andhra Pradesh minister Kollu Ravindra in connection with the murder of a leader of ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).
Ravindra was arrested in Tuni in East Godavari district when he was heading towards Visakhapatnam. A police team from Krishna district stopped the TDP leader and arrested him. He is being brought to Vijayawada.
The former minister has been arrested in connection with the murder of M. Bhaskar Rao, a close associate of Transport Minister Perni Venkataramaiah.
The former Machilipatnam market yard chairman was stabbed to death by four unidentified persons in broad daylight in the fish market in Machilipatnam on June 29.
On a complaint by the slain leader's family, police had registered a case against Kollu Ravindra.
Alleging that Ravindra is the mastermind behind the criminal conspiracy, Bhaskar Rao's widow had demanded his immediate arrest.
The police have already arrested three persons in connection with the murder case.
Meanwhile, TDP president and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has condemned Ravindra's arrest. He said that arresting him without even preliminary investigation is an act of vendetta politics by YSR Congress.
He said the state did not see these many atrocities even during the emergency. "Never before were leaders booked in so many wrongful cases or the opposition targeted to this extent until now. It was unprecedented that so many leaders are being put in jail like this,a he said.
The leader of opposition alleged that YSRCP adopted a vengeful attitude towards backward classes with wrongful cases being filed against Atchannaidu, Ayyannapatrudu, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, and Kollu Ravindra being the examples.
Naidu called Ravindra's family members and gave an assurance that he and the party will stand by them.