Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who is already struggling to save his Telugu Desam Party’s image, impacted by the unruly behaviour of some MPs, MLAs and MLCs, has a new trouble-maker, J.C. Diwakar Reddy the MP who allegedly manhandled the staff of IndiGo at Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday and refused to tender an apology.
During a meeting, Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju informed the CM that an internal probe has been ordered to find out what exactly had happened at the IndiGo cabin. Raju was present at the scene when Reddy verbally abused the executives and vandalised the office of IndiGo. Raju along with a few other MPs and MLAs were sitting at the airport’s VIP lounge waiting to go to Hyderabad. The Aviation Minister had tried to calm the situation but by the time he intervened, the ill-tempered Reddy had done whatever he could do with the helpless staff of airlines. Reddy, who came to the airport just after the airlines’ counter was closed, later got his boarding pass and managed to fly.
Enough damage seems to have been done as seven airlines, including state carrier Air India decided to ban Diwakar Reddy from flying for three months. Naidu is learnt to have expressed his unhappiness over the uncontrolled anger of Diwakar Reddy.
Efforts are underway to get Diwakar Reddy tender an unconditional apology to the IndiGo staff and settle the matter without either side approaching the police. Naidu is afraid a major controversy may erupt due to Reddy’s behaviour.
Naidu is miffed with the frequent unruly behaviour of Diwakar Reddy with government officials and the police. Only a few weeks ago, the MP had misbehaved with the cops on duty at the Gannavaram airport in Vijayawada.
Naidu often uses pending criminal cases against his political opponent YSR Congress leader Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to counter him. The unruly behaviour of TDP MPs can deprive him of such an opportunity.
Only on Wednesday, Naidu had suspended TDP MLC G. Deepak Reddy, nephew of Diwakar Reddy, from the party after he was arrested by the Telangana police for resorting to land grabbing, forgery of documents and intimidating the public. This case came at a time when the TDP in Telangana was gearing up to fight the latest land scam in and around Hyderabad in which several senior MPs and leaders of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi were involved.
In March, Naidu had suspended another TDP MLC, Vakati Narayana Reddy for his alleged involvement in defrauding banks and money laundering.
Only a few days after the Narayana Reddy incident, Kesineni Nani (alias Srinivas), TDP MP from Vijayawada, had created huge embarrassment to the CM as the former raided a local road transport commissioner’s office and abused the officials for stopping buses belonging to his Kesineni Travels that runs passenger services to Telangana and Karnataka. TDP MLA Chintamaneni Prabhakar, MLC Buddha Venkanna and P. Sateesh were in the news for attacking government officials for not heeding their requests.
A TDP Rajya Sabha member, who has been entrusted with the responsibility of controlling some errant TDP lawmakers, told this newspaper on the condition of anonymity that Naidu is worried that since the elections are fast approaching, the unruly behaviour of his lawmakers might prove costly for him.