TAMIL NADU

My husband is a victim of conspiracy: Cong. MLA

WARANGAL, DEC. 22. Supporters of Konda Muralidhar Rao, husband of the Congress MLA of Shayampet, Surekha, staged a dharna in front of the Collectorate here on Saturday in protest against the alleged indictment of Rao in a criminal case by the Wardhannapet MLA of TDP, Mr. E. Dayakar Rao.

The mob was protesting that it was at the instance of Mr. Dayakar Rao that the Hyderabad City Police Commissioner, Mr. P. Ramulu, had announced on Friday the purchase of a .38 revolver by Muralidhar Rao from a gang of extortionists and the efforts of the police to trace him and recover the weapon.

Mrs. Surekha last night telephoned newspaper offices here and took exception to the Commissioner's announcement about her husband purchasing the revolver. She asked why the police were not bringing to book persons accused of hatching a plot to kill her husband as revealed in the interrogation of one of the members of the extortion gang, Ashok Reddy. She said the conspiracy was hatched in a Hyderabad lodge at the instigation of Mr. Dayakar Rao a few days ago.

The MLA also alleged that Mr. Dayakar Rao was trying to marginalise the political career of her husband by indicting him in a `false' case so that he was not a threat to him in the Wardhannapet Assembly constituency. He had spent a huge sum to see that Muralidhar Rao was defeated as ZPTC member from Sangem mandal, which forms part of Wardhannapet segment, in the last local body polls.

Expressing solidarity with the MLA, a large number of her supporters as well as of her husband descended here from various villages of the Shayampet constituency and staged a dharna near the Collectorate for over two hours. A Congress leader of Shayampet, Mr. Katla Chandra Reddy, and the general secretary of the District Youth Congress, Mr. Marri Janardhan Patel, were among the leaders who addressed the camp. They condemned Mr. Dayakar Rao's unfair politics.

The mob tried to gatecrash into the Collectorate at the end of the dharna to submit a memorandum to the authorities. The police pushed back the crowd which blocked traffic while retreating.

Groups of Congress workers also moved in the town in jeeps and forced closure of shops while calling bandh. But, the impact was not much. Shops were also closed for some time in Parkal town which is part of Shayampet segment. A bandh was observed in Shayampet mandal.