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Congress MP Rajagopal's escape drama upsets all

By Mohammed Siddique
Last updated on: December 22, 2009 10:48 IST
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The act of Congress MP from Vijaywada, L Rajagopal, of escaping from the police custody in Vijaywada to reach Hyderabad and get admitted in Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences has evoked strong condemnation and sharp criticism from all the quarters, including his own Congress party.

Several Telangana supporters and Congress leaders have demanded that he should be immediately sent back to Vijaywada to keep the situation under control.

V Hanumantha Rao, Congress member of Rajya Sabha speaking from New Delhi, alleged that the police was hand in glove with the MP to help him reach Hyderabad and get him admitted to NIMS.

"This is a provocative act for the people of Telangana," he said.

He wanted to know the purpose of Rajagopal coming to Hyderabad. "On the one hand, he is saying he wants to continue the fast and on other he wants medical treatment in NIMS. This is all double talk."

Telangana Vimochana Samiti leader V Prakash also ridiculed Rajagopal and said that his main purpose of coming to Hyderabad was to create trouble in the city and other parts of Telangana through his provocative activities.

He also alleged that suspension of the police officials was mere eyewash and the state government was also involved in the conspiracy to bring Rajagopal to Hyderabad to encourage anti-Telangana activities.

The issue also figured in Monday's meeting of state cabinet and several ministers expressed their unhappiness and disapproval of Rajagopal's antics.

Sources said that the chief minister gave a detailed briefing to the ministers about the sequence of events since Sunday night. "By his irresponsible behaviour, Rajagopal has caused immense damage to the government's image," Rosaiah said.

State Minister K Venkat Reddy warned Rajagopal against continuing his drama and said that he had crossed the limit.

"High command will be forced to take action against you," he told the media persons in Hyderabad.

BJP's floor leader in the state assembly, G Kishan Reddy, said: "Escaping from police custody is not befitting a member of Parliament."

The state government has appointed senior IPS officer Mahesh Bhagwat as the in charge police commissioner of Vijaywada. He will take the place of KV Rajendernath Reddy, who was suspended by the government after Rajagopal's escape.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Police Officers Association has condemned the government action saying that the MP not the police officers were at fault in the case.

The association, in a statement, said that at a time when the policemen were working round-the-clock for the last one month to maintain law and order in the state, suspension of the officers will only demoralise them.

The policemen gave respect to Rajagopal as he is a MP, but he misused it and escaped, the association said.

Finding fault with the government for taking action against the police officials, the association said that action should be taken against the MP for his escape.

The association demanded the immediate revocation of the suspension orders against the policemen.
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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
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