Andhra Pradesh

Political tensions rise in Fort City

Former Union Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju campaigning for TDP candidates in Phoolbagh area of Vizianagaram on Monday.  

Political tensions rose in the city as the ruling YSR Congress Party and the opposition Telugu Desam Party engaged in a war of words on the last day of campaigning for the Vizianagaram Municipal Corporation elections.

YSRCP’s Vizianagaram MLA Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy alleged that former Union Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju had hit a woman during campaigning in Phoolbagh area, referencing a video clip that was being circulated widely.

TDP leaders were quick to rubbish the allegations, stating that Mr. Ashok was in fact trying to help the woman by dousing a small fire that broke out when someone had lighted camphor.

Vizianagaram TDP general secretary I.V.P. Raju accused the YSRCP of resorting to ‘character assassination’ of Mr. Ashok, who had a clean image for the last four decades.

The woman in the video footage, identified as Hemalatha, reportedly clarified later that Mr. Ashok had not hit her and in fact tried to help her and others by dousing a small flame. “The video footage is clear evidence that Mr. Ashok has done nothing wrong,” said Mr. Raju while addressing a press conference at the TDP office.

Meanwhile, the BJP and Jana Sena Party also campaigned in 33 wards on Monday, the last day for campaigning. JSP-Vizianagaram general secretary Midatana Ravikumar exuded confidence that the candidates contesting on JSP-BJP tickets would win a majority of the divisions. He said that the people wanted to encourage new leadership in their respective divisions.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 9:24:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/political-tensions-rise-in-fort-city/article34023187.ece

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