TDP MLC M. Ravindranath Reddy has alleged that YSRCP activists destroyed sweet lime orchards of many sarpanch candidates backed by rival political parties in Pulivendula Assembly constituency, which is being represented by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Several sweet lime orchards have allegedly been damaged in Pydipalem, Mallela, Duggannagaripalle, Pedda Juturu and Gurajala panchayats where the polls are scheduled to be held on February 17.
Police protection sought
The issue came to light with Mr. Ravindranath Reddy, who is TDP’s Pulivendula constituency in-charge, along with the victims, met Superintendent of Police K.K.N. Anburajan on Monday. The MLC sought police protection for the candidates in view of the ‘perceived threat’. The SP assured to look into the issue.
“Influential leaders owing allegiance to the YSRCP damaged the contours of the orchard belonging to M. Sivanjanamma, a sarpanch candidate for Pydipalem panchayat in Simhadripuram mandal. This is a veiled threat to her that she would lose her entire orchard if she contested the election,” Mr. Ravindranath Reddy told The Hindu over telephone.
He also alleged that Mahesh Reddy, a TDP-supported candidate in Duggannagaripalle panchayat in Vemula mandal, was summoned and made to sit in a police station. “Murali Yadav contesting from Gurajala panchayat was also threatened that the water pipeline to his field would be damaged if he remained in the fray,” alleged the TDP MLC.
“With unanimous elections in many panchayats, the TDP-supported candidates are in the fray only in 25%-30% of the seats. Does the Chief Minister think these seats must go uncontested just because it is Pulivendula?” he asked and accused YSRCP leaders of threatening rival candidates with dire consequences.