Chandrababu Naidu demands CBI probe into former Andhra Pradesh speaker's death
Terming the death of former speaker of Andhra Pradesh Kodela Siva Prasada Rao, who allegedly committed suicide, as 'murder,' Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday demanded a CBI probe into the circumstances leading to the incident.
Blaming the Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government for the death of Rao, Naidu said, 'I have seen 11 chief ministers in my career, and I myself have held the post for so many years. I have never seen such a chief minister (Jaganmohan Reddy). This (suicide) is nothing but murder by the government.' Naidu said
'The entire case has to be investigated by the CBI. Intellectuals in this country should debate on the government's attitude,' the TDP chief added.
Based on eye-witness accounts, Rao is suspected to have committed suicide.
The 72-year-old leader was last month slapped with a criminal case by Andhra Pradesh police for alleged illegal possession of Assembly furniture.
The ruling YSR Congress in the state had dubbed Kodela a 'thief' who stole the Legislature property, a charge that he denied.
Hitting out at the state government, Naidu said 19 'baseless and unfounded' cases, including some related to extortion and breach of trust were foisted against the family members of the departed leader, violating the Supreme Court's guidelines, which mandates an inquiry before filing of such cases.
According to Naidu, the furniture missing case filed against the former speaker was 'petty' in nature and the Guntur police booked a case under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant ).
The former state chief minister said Rao wrote two letters to the Assembly secretary to take back the furniture he kept in his camp office in June and also in August. However, the state government chose to file a case against him, Naidu alleged.
Calling Jaganmohan Reddy's dispensation as 'worse than a terrorist government,' Naidu said, Rao was mentally, physically, and financially harassed and intimidated.
The government abetted the suicide and it is a clear case study on 'vindictive politics,' which people of the state should be made aware of, he said.
Meanwhile, Naidu paid homage to the departed leader at TDP headquarters before his body was taken to Guntur in Andhra Pradesh to be kept at the party's office for people to pay tribute.
A six-time MLA from Guntur district, Rao was the Andhra Assembly speaker from 2014 to 2019.