Mopidevi’s brother alleges ill-treatment of former Minister in jail

The ruling Congress suffered a big jolt in Repalle segment after the brother of former Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao, Mopidevi Harnadha Babu, joined the YSR Congress on Friday in the presence of party honorary president Y.S Vijayamma in Hyderabad.

Mr. Babu told The Hindu that the family has been deeply hurt with the way Mr. Ramana has been treated in the jail. “Even after my brother complained of severe pain in the back, they are not even willing to take him to medical tests,’’ Mr. Babu told The Hindu on Friday. On Wednesday, Mr. Babu convened a meeting of supporters at Nizampatnam, their native village, and conveyed his decision to sail with Mr Jagan.

Mr. Ramana Rao, who has held Port and Infrastructure portfolio in the YSR Cabinet, has been in jail over a year since he was arrested by CBI in the disproportionate assets case against Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy.

The former Minister was facing charges in the allotment of over 16,000 acres of land to the Vodarevu and Nizampatnam Port and Industrial Corridor (VANPIC).

The former Minister was the lone representative from the fishermen community in the State.

The influential Mopidevi family has been with the Congress for the last 25 years and has been a trump card against the TDP. The Congress is yet to name an in charge for the segment and is likely to face a setback in the forthcoming panchayat elections.

Mr Venkata Ramana was elected twice from Kuchinapudi constituency in 1999 and 2004. In 2009, he was fielded from Repalle, after Kuchinapudi was merged in the delimitation exercise.