EVM damage case: high drama continues as A.P. police are yet to trace ‘runaway’ Macherla MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy

While YSRCP legislators Ainl Kumar and Ambati Rambabu have questioned the ECI on selective video leak pertaining to only Macherla and accused it of being biased, TDP contestant Brahmananda Reddy demands that the accused MLA be disqualified immediately

Updated - May 24, 2024 07:45 am IST

Published - May 23, 2024 09:58 pm IST - GUNTUR

A video grab of CCTV camera footage of YSRCP MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy allegedly destroying an EVM at a polling station on the polling day on May 13.

A video grab of CCTV camera footage of YSRCP MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy allegedly destroying an EVM at a polling station on the polling day on May 13. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The high-voltage political drama over the whereabouts and possible arrest of Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy, the incumbent ruling YSRCP Macherla legislator and contestant from the same constituency again, continues.

The YSRCP legislator had first made headlines when he allegedly left for Hyderabad while being under house arrest. He had landed in fresh trouble a couple of days ago when a video clip, purportedly of the CCTV camara footage, went viral in public domain, in which the accused MLA was allegedly seen vandalising the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and the VVPAT machine at Polling Station No. 202 in the constituency on the polling day on May 13.

YSRCP Macherla MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy.

YSRCP Macherla MLA Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy. | Photo Credit: File Photo

Though the incident had happened on May 13, the police did not include Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy in the list of accused in the initial FIR, but named him as A1 in the case only on May 20. Later, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had ordered the Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and the Director General of Police to arrest him within a time-frame.

The CEO had on May 22 gone on record stating that the police, with the help of their counterparts in Telangana, were searching for the accused MLA, and the DGP informed that he would be arrested very shortly.

But, as of May 23, there was no progress in the case.

Meanwhile, sources in the Police Department said that the accused MLA was not in Andhra Pradesh and hence it would be difficult to trace him. They further said that several teams had been on the job, and it would be revealed to the media as soon as the police arrested him.

In the backdrop of the issue kicking up a stink, YSRCP legislators Anil Kumar Yadav, who was contesting for the Lok Sabha from Narasaraopet, and Ambati Rambabu, Water Resources Minister and contestant from Sattenapalli Assembly constituency, have quickly come out in defence of Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy.

“How can the ECI release only the video pertaining to Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy when there are nine other incidents in Palnadu district. The ECI is favouring the TDP,” Mr. Anil Kumar alleged on May 23.

“Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy had to go to prevent rigging and violence as his and other YSRCP leaders’ complaints about poll violations were ignored by the police. The ECI should release all the CCTV camara footages of violence in Palnadu district as the TDP leaders too resorted to such actions,” he said.

Mr. Ramababu said that TDP national general secretary N. Lokesh should reveal how he had gained access to the video clip and posted it on ‘X’. With the ECI claiming that it did not release the video, it must be either the officials or the police who leaked it, he alleged.

TDP candidate from Macherla Julakanti Brahmananda Reddy argues that the question here is not who released the video clip, but the facts that it contains.

The ECI should disqualify Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy from contesting elections as he himself indulged in violence, Mr. Brahmananda Reddy demanded on May 23.

“It is not who released the video. The fact is that Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy is an accused in the case and he should be brought to book. The video is proof of how he triggered violence, threatened people and vandalised the EVMs. The YSRCP leaders’ contention that the video is aimed at diverting people’s attention and inquiry does not hold much water,” he reasoned, and accused the police of shielding the accused MLA.

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