Vijayawada, Jan 20 (IANS) Dramatic scenes played out in Vijayawada on Tuesday leading to the arrest and release of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and former minister Devineni Uma after he tried to reach an NTR statue following challenges to debate with Civil Supplies Minister Kodali Sri Venkateshwara Rao.
Both the leaders challenged each other to debate, especially Rao on alleged corruption in the ruling party over distribution of land to poor people.
Rao said that Uma was unnecessarily making allegations that the Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy committed corruption at a time when more than 3,000 people in Mylavaram’s Gollapudi were receiving land after 30 years.
“He (Uma) is simply making baseless allegations convening press conferences. So I told him to come for a debate on the manifesto as to what we fulfilled. I am ready to debate,” said Rao.
He warned Uma that he cannot just keep on making allegations on Reddy.
However, Rao alleged that Uma challenged him to come and touch at TDP founder Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao’s statue where he will do a protest.
The minister observed that police will not allow for such a thing to happen and highlighted that Uma was not answering phone calls.
“Answer my phone call. Let’s decide where we shall have our debate? At your home or my home?” said Rao.
However, nothing of that sort happened and Uma tried going to NTR statue where he was arrested.
Vijayawada police commissioner B.V. Srineevasuslu confirmed that Uma was arrested and released on Tuesday.
Later, Rao alleged that Uma intentionally deflected the debate and resorted to going to the statue so that police would arrest him, leading to alleged publicity gain.
The Gudivada YSRCP MLA claimed that Uma acts as per the directions of TDP supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu.
Meanwhile, estranged TDP MLA Vallabhaneni Vamsi also came in support of Rao and said that a debate would be good.
Vamsi went to NTR statue in Vijayawada and honoured it with ksheeabishekam (pouring milk on statue with reverence) and said that the late leader and movie legend was a true leader of the masses and the poor.