Vijayawada, Jan 21 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh’s Minister for Civil Supplies, Kodali Nani on Friday said if it was proved that the casino was organised at a function hall owned by him, he would quit politics and commit self-immolation.
Amid the continuing row over the casino organised at K. Convention Hall at Gudivada in Krishna district during Sankranti and the protest by opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) demanding action against him, the minister told reporters that if the allegations were proved he would not only quit politics but would also pour petrol and set himself ablaze.
Kodali Nani said like at all other places during Sankranti, cockfight and gambling was held at Gudivada. He claimed that on receiving information that women were brought for dance performance, he personally telephoned DSP, who responded swiftly and stopped the programme.
The minister made the statement on the day when a ‘fact-finding’ committee of TDP tried to visit K. Convention Hall in Gudivada leading to tension.
Workers of ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) tried to stop TDP leaders when they were entering the town. Police also restricted the number of four-wheelers being used by TDP leaders to reach their party office in the town. The Opposition party leaders took strong exception to the police’s action.
Later, tension prevailed at the TDP office in the town when police stopped the party leaders from leaving for the Convention Centre. This led to strong protest by senior leaders including Nakka Anand Babu, Bonda Uma, Varla Ramaiah and Alapati Raja. Police detained the TDP leaders, triggering protests by party workers who sat on the road.
Window panes of Bonda Uma’s car were smashed by unidentified persons. The TDP blamed YSRCP for the incident and alleged that YSRCP attacked the party office twice.
Later, Varla Ramaiah told reporters that Director General of Police Gautam Sawang should confirm whether the casino was organised at K. Convention Centre or not. He alleged that minister Nani has attacked Telugu culture and traditions by organising the casino.
The TDP leader criticised the police for stopping the TDP fact-finding committee. He questioned why the police did not act against YSRCP leaders and workers.
Meanwhile, TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh condemned the ‘illegal arrest’ of TDP fact-finding committee members.
He strongly objected to the ruling YSRCP ‘goondas’ launching an attack on the Gudivada TDP office and also smashing the car window panes of Bonda Uma. Apparently, the Jagan Reddy government was frustrated and intolerant of growing criticism of the gambling activities, he said.
Two days ago, Krishna district superintendent of police Siddharth Kaushal had directed Nuzvidu deputy superintendent of police Srinivasulu to conduct an inquiry and submit the report.
The SP gave the direction after some TDP leaders called on him and submitted a representation.
A row erupted over the casino after some videos went viral on social media.
Opposition TDP and BJP have slammed the YSRCP government for bringing in casino culture into the state.