Andhra Pradesh police on Saturday arrested two cabinet ministers to avert a clash between them in Mahabubnagar district.
Minister D.K. Aruna was arrested from her assembly constituency Gadwal early morning as she had threatened to stop her cabinet colleague Jupalli Krishna Rao from entering there. Police later arrested Rao also at Aiza to avert a clash between the two groups of the ruling Congress party.
There was high drama as Rao locked himself inside his vehicle and threatened to commit suicide if the police tried to arrest him. Rao’s supporters had a heated argument with police officials, who later convinced the minister to come out. Endowments minister Rao, who had submitted his resignation to the Congress leadership in March, was on a padyatra to demand statehood for Telangana region.
Tension prevailed in the district as supporters of the two ministers indulged in stone pelting. Protesting his arrest, Rao’s sympathizers damaged three buses of the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC). The two groups have called for shutdown in Gadwal and Aiza towns, respectively.
Aruna, minister for information and public relations, had threatened to prevent Rao from stepping into her constituency saying he had not informed her about the padyatra. She demanded that the party leadership take action against him. Aruna was later released on personal bond.
Rao criticized his arrest and vowed to take up the padyatra in the same constituency again. He had sent his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding that she make a clear-cut announcement in Parliament on the formation of a separate Telangana state.
Both the ministers come from Mahabubnagar district. While Aruna represents Gadwal assembly constituency, Rao was elected from Kollapur.(IANS)