Dubbaka by-election in Telangana turns ugly
In addition to the blatant use of illegal means to influence the vote, the by-election has also seen some bigoted rhetoric coming from the BJP.
It’s a triangular fight between the TRS, Congress and BJP for the Dubbaka seat, the by-elections for which is scheduled for November 3. With field-level campaigns in full swing, there has been a lot of bluster from the different party leaders. But it all turned ugly with an incident that started with the BJP candidate Raghunandan Rao.
There was tension at the home of his relative earlier this week when the police, based on a tip-off, arrived to conduct a raid. They recovered 18.67 lakhs, which they say was meant to be distributed among voters to influence their decision in the election. Just as they were about the leave the premises, the candidate arrived there with a few of his supporters who immediately got into a squabble with the cops.
They got hold of a police constable and snatched the bag of confiscated money he was holding. They immediately started to make off with the cash, simultaneously yelling that police were trying to plant the cash in the house in order to discredit their candidate.
The government has rubbished these claims. Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Joel Davis told the press that money was being distributed by the BJP candidate in small amounts and they conducted the raid based on the information received. The candidate dropped in at the location where the raid was being conducted with at least 200 for his supporters. Some people among them caused a disturbance and made off with Rs 5.87 lakhs, the commissioner said.
Later, the BJP state president who attempted to reach the location to show support for his candidate was taken into preventive custody. Videos of his arrest went viral on social media and BJP MP from Telangana G Kishan Reddy immediately called it an “unjustifiable” “brutal assault” on the party leader. He said Home Minister Amit Shah had also inquired about the incident.
Another BJP MP in the state, the controversial D Arvind who is known for making provocative statements gave the incident a communal angle by dragging the police commissioner’s religion into it. He said how dare he arrest the state president and doesn’t he know that he is living in a Hindu rashtra and the BJP is ruling at the centre.