TDP Men Assault On Transport Commissioner Boomerangs

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is at receiving end in Andhra Pradesh following an assault on senior IPS officer and Transport Commissioner N Balasubrahmanyam in Vijayawada. TDP MP Kesineni Srinivas, MLA Bonda Umamaheswara Rao and MLC Buddha Venkanna were involved in the assault, in which the MLA had even manhandled the Transport Commissioner’s gunman.

The assault had come in handy for the Opposition YSR Congress which has been at the receiving end for over two-and-a-half years with the government slapping cases against them whenever they had verbal exchange with the officials. YSR Congress legislator Chevireddi Bhaskara Reddy, who was sent to the jail for alleged assault on airport manager in Tirupati last year, held a protest at the Assembly seeking action against the TDP leaders for the assault on the Transport Commissioner.

The incident had attracted widespread condemnation from different quarters, including some TDP leaders, forcing Chief Minister to broker peace between the TDP leaders and the senior Transport officers. Though the Chief Minister had made the MP, MLA and the MLC to meet the Transport Commissioner in person and apologize, the issue appears to have not subsided and is spreading fast deep into the grassroots. The reason for the widespread condemnation is the attitude of the government that had slapped criminal cases against Leader of Opposition Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at Nandigama on February 28, when he threatened district Collector after the bus accident. The TDP took advantage of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s comments in the incident and had reportedly made even the IAS officers Association to condemn it. In another incident where YSR Congress MLA R K Roja made hard comments against DGP N Sambasiva Rao, the government had reportedly made the AP Police Officers Association to condemn it. Having seen these incidents very recently, people are drawing comparison with the latest incident in which the TDP men are involved.

Besides drawing comparison, the incident had also another reason to blow up and put the TDP in a fix is the sincerity of the officer involved or rather victimized in the incident. Transport Commissioner Balasubrahmanyam is known for his sincerity and commitment to his profession. The senior IPS officer has the credibility which rallies general public and the government employees around him against the assault.

What prompted TDP Men to assault on Transport Commissioner?

While there is no sympathy or excuse for the TDP leaders for their assault on the Transport Commissioner in spite of the leaders tendering apology to the officer, people are also discussing about the reasons that have prompted the TDP men to indulge in this act. TDP MP Kesineni Srinivas heads a private transport company, Kesineni Travels, which is into both passenger and cargo travel. Started in a small way in 1990s, Kesineni Travels has emerged as the largest travel agency in the State over the years. Before bifurcation, the Kesineni Travels had tough competition with the similar firms from Rayalaseema and Telangana competing with him.

The bifurcation had provided more teeth to the Kesineni Travels in different forms – its owner becoming the Member of Parliament, its headquarters becoming the State capital and the TDP coming to power. The changed situations have reportedly helped the Kesineni Travels to overshadow the competitors. It is said that a handful of the competitors have become sick in the last two and a half years with the TDP in power. At the same time, some of the competitors from Telangana State were forced to withdraw their operations in Andhra Pradesh leading to monopoly of the Kesineni Travels in the 13 districts. It was one such attempt that had led to the incident.

The MP alleged that some of the private travels backed or owned by Opposition leader Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy were involved in illegal operations in the State causing huge financial loss to the State. He said that the Orange Travels bus was involved in an accident and he had only asked the officials to follow rules and punish the traveller.

However, the Orange Travels has alleged that the MP was using the Transport and police officials to stop their buses operating in Andhra Pradesh.

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