NIA Probe Into YS Jagan Attack Case: What Makes Chandrababu Jittery?

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu - Sakshi Post

Y. Satyanarayana

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu's forked tongue seems to be fast catching up with him. This can be seen in a series of his recent moves and statements, which are a reflection of his anxiety and agitated state of mind.

One only has to look at the absurdity of his objections to an NIA probe into the the murder attempt on Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Legislative assembly YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on October 25, 2018. Chandrababu's missive to PM Modi objecting to the NIA investigation is a reflection of his heightened unease and desperation. What is at the root of his worry?

At the time of the vicious attack, the TDP government beginning with those at the highest level, said that the murder attempt took place in an area under the jurisdiction of the Centre, implying that the State government had no role in it. They refused to inquire into the conspiracy angle which was sticking out like a sore thumb. While YSRCP leaders, among others, pointed out that Fusion Foods, the restaurant in the airport where the attacker was employed, was owned by a TDP sympathiser (a ticket aspirant in 2014 polls), Harshvardhan Chowdary, the state government ignored this angle, or pretended to look the other way.

The AP DGP addressed the media within an hour of the murderous attack on the YSRCP chief and played down the murder attempt. He described the attacker Janupalli Srinivasa Rao, as a fan of YS Jagan who carried out the murder attempt for publicity. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed for this purpose, headed by the Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner Mahesh Chandra Laddha, submitted its report in haste, jut as the NIA got into the picture.

The SIT ignored critical dimensions of the case such as the conspiracy aspect, the likely role of ruling party leaders, the attacker getting an NoC from the local police despite having a criminal record and persons responsible for his getting it. The question of CCTV cameras failing to function at the airport from the time YS Jagan's Padayatra entered Visakhapatnam district remained unanswered, as did that of the attacker smuggling a weapon into the airport. Fake flexis springing up out of nowhere, police officials peddling the lie that the accused Srinivasa Rao, is a sympathiser of the YSRCP chief who carried the attack for publicity, all these facts pointed towards a massive cover-up. The AP police could not explain why a fan would so viciously attack a leader he hero-worshipped, as they claimed he did. The general consensus is that the SIT team appears to have gone through the motions of a probe more as a formality.

The TDP leadership, beginning with Chandrababu Naidu, not merely downplayed the vicious attack, which could have proved fatal, but made derisive and objectionable statements. TDP leaders, including ministers, MPs, MLAs and others seemed to take a cue from Chandrababu Naidu and made despicable comments. Some of these statements were not simply downright mean, but reflected the desperate state of mind of the party leadership and the obnoxious mindset of these ruling party politicians.

Now when, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials stepped into the picture, Chandrababu Naidu writes a letter to PM Modi post-haste objecting to its inquiry. He wants the Prime Minister to cancel the NIA probe and withdraw the agency from the case. Chandrababu has been crying hoarse saying that the federal spirit is being violated without being able to explain how. The Andhra Pradesh chief minister, who did not have the courtesy to call upon the Leader of Opposition who was attacked in the secure zone of the VIP lounge of the Vizag airport, or even speak to him on phone, ironically, speaks of the virtues of democracy.

The question that is being asked by YSRCP leaders of Chandrababu Naidu is, why is he scared of a probe by NIA? The statements being made by the Andhra Pradesh chief minister attributing everything including the NIA probe into the murder attempt on YS Jagan, to PM Modi, has made Chandrababu the butt of all jokes.

Is the Andhra Pradesh chief minister rattled that an underlying conspiracy behind the murder attempt would be revealed by an NIA probe? Is he disturbed that the inquiry could lead the trail to people closely connected with him? Instead of welcoming a probe by a prestigious central agency like NIA, why is he a worried man? The initial statements of the TDP leadership trying to pass the buck on to the Centre claiming that the airport area is under the jurisdiction of the Centre, have now come to bite them.

Also Read: YS Jagan Attack Case: NIA Questions Accused On Plot Behind Murder Attempt

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