Arrest warrant issued against Andhra CM Naidu; TDP alleges BJP conspiracy

A Maharashtra court has issued non-bailable warrants against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and 14 others in a 2010 case pertaining to an agitation against the Babli Barrage on Godavari river, an official said.
Judicial Magistrate (First Class) N R Gajbhiye has directed the police to arrest all the accused and produce them in court by September 21.
Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday called for protests across the state following the development.
A spokesperson of the party said the arrest warrant issued to Naidu and others was unfortunate, adding there was some conspiracy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
“This is nothing but a conspiracy by the BJP to intimidate TDP. BJP is afraid of the alliance that TDP is forming in Telangana and the arrest warrant, which had expired, has been renewed to intimidate us,” Telangana TDP president L Ramana was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Naidu’s son and state IT Minister N. Lokesh told the media that the CM would attend the court hearing next week even as legal opinion on the issue had been sought.
The incident took place when the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had organised massive protests over what it termed “illegal constructions” on the Babli Barrage project by the Maharashtra government, allegedly to divert Godavari river waters from Telangana region of the then undivided Andhra Pradesh.
At that time, Naidu was the Leader of Opposition in the state and along with 40 legislators, had entered the barrage vicinity flouting prohibition orders clamped there.
The police had canned some protesters and later arrested all of them.
Later, as Naidu refused to take bail, he was sent back to Hyderabad by a flight, and subsequently, cases were filed against all agitators on various counts.
The court orders came after a petitioner moved the Dharmabad court seeking to know why the earlier arrest warrants were not executed.
(With agency inputs)

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