Chandrababu Naidu not to appear before Maharashtra court

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, against whom a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued by a Maharashtra court last week in a 2010 case, will not attend the court on September 21.

Naidu, who is also the President of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), on Wednesday decided to send his lawyer to file a petition in Dharmabad court to recall the Non-Bailable Arrest Warrant (NBW).

The decision was taken after the TDP chief held series of consultations with legal experts, officials and top leaders of his party here.

Judicial Magistrate First Class, Dharmabad Court (Nanded) N.R. Gajbhiye on September had 13 issued the NBWs against Naidu and 14 others including his two cabinet colleagues.

The police were ordered to arrest and produce them before the court at the next hearing on September 21.

Maharashtra police had registered a case against Naidu and others when the TDP organised massive protests over what it termed the “illegal constructions” of the Babli Barrage project by the Maharashtra government allegedly to divert Godavari River waters from Telangana region of the then undivided Andhra Pradesh.

At that time Naidu was the Leader of Opposition in the state and along with 40 legislators, he had entered the barrage vicinity flouting prohibition orders clamped there.

The TDP has alleged that BJP is behind the revival of eight-year-old case. It termed the NBW as an act of vengeance by Narendra Modi government against the TDP for pulling out of NDA.

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, while addressing a news conference in Hyderabad on September 15, denied the allegation and pointed out that the case was booked when Congress was in power in Maharashtra.

He also claimed that the court had issued 25 summons against Naidu but he did not respond to any summon.

Reacting to Shah’s claim, Chandrababu Naidu informed the Andhra Pradesh Assembly that he had not received summons from the court before the NBW was issued.

“I verified with my office. Not even a single summon was received,” the Chief Minister said.