The controversy over the death of former Andhra Pradesh assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasad Rao continued on Tuesday, with the ruling YSR Congress alleging that it was Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu who was responsible for his death. This even as TDP leaders complained to the Union minister G Kishan Reddy that political vendetta, foisting of 19 allegedly false cases and harassment by the YSR Congress government had driven Mr Rao to suicide. Chandrababu Naidu has demanded a CBI inquiry.
Brushing aside TDP allegations that the state government was had a role in his death, the YSR Congress said the former Speaker was repeatedly humiliated by his party chief.
Mr Naidu, the YSR Congress said, had not given Mr Rao due respect, encouraged rival groups and did not respond to his phone calls, which drove him to suicide. If the call data of his cell phone is examined, the reason for his death will be clear, the ruling party said.
Police say Kodela Siva Prasad Rao had committed suicide by hanging at his Hyderabad home on Monday. The police filed a case of "death in suspicious circumstances". Mr Rao's cousin Kancheti Sai Babu alleged that he was murdered by his son Sivaram. The TDP released photos to show Sai Babu is in fact with the YSR Congress and acting with political motives. They also pointed out that Mr Rao's son Sivaram was in fact away in Kenya and had arrived only the day after he died.
On Tuesday, speaking to reporters at separate press conferences, the state's Civil Supplies Minister Kodali Nani, Chief Whip G Srikanth Reddy, PAC member and MLA Ambati Rambabu said Mr Naidu had started "whipping up passions" by levelling false and baseless allegations against the government, they said.
Chandrababu Naidu, who organized a camp for YSRCP "victims" of Palanadu did not include Kodela Prasada Rao in it, they said. "If Kodela Siva Prasad Rao was humiliated, as the TDP claims, why he was not there in the Chalo Atmakuru camp," they questioned.
TDP leaders have alleged that Mr Rao was being hounded by the YSR Congress government.
As an example they cited the latest police case filed against him, in which the former Speaker was accused of diverting furniture belonging to the Andhra Pradesh assembly to his office at Sattenapalli back in 2014. He was repeatedly publicly humiliated, they said.
In the letter to the Union minister of state for home, they point out that twice the former Speaker had written to the assembly Secretariat offering to return the furniture, once in June and again in August, but it was made to appear as though he had indulged in theft and had hidden the information.
After the assembly authorities filed police complaints, Mr Rao had held a press conference and said that he shifted the furniture to his personal place and offered to return it or pay for it.