Hyderabad,December 26 :Andhra Pradesh governor ND Tiwari landed in a fresh controversy today after a local TV channel telecast explicit clippings purportedly of the veteran Congress leader with some women, a footage rejected by Raj Bhavan as fabricated and a “tissue of lies.”
The development amid the crisis in the state over the Telangana statehood issue triggered demands that the 86-year-old governor resign or be dismissed, and also protests by women activists outside the Raj Bhavan where security was beefed up after the private Telugu channel aired the footage.
In a quick damage control, the Raj Bhavan approached the Andhra high court, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the channel — “ABN Andhra Jyothi” — and got an order to restrain it from airing the footage further. The footage was allegedly taken inside Raj Bhavan during the night.
The channel stopped telecasting the footage after the court ordered the channel to stop airing it. The footage was shown for an hour from 10am today.
Raj Bhavan denied the footage and issued a statement.
“The governor is 86 years old, and in the evening of his life. It is sad and unfortunate that constitutional functionaries are dragged into needless controversies,” it added.
The counsel for the Raj Bhavan Ravishanker Jandhyala said, “There is absolutely no truth in the alleged news story, which is nothing but sensation mongering.”
“The alleged news story is nothing but a ’tissue of lies’, and is denied,” he said, adding there is no question of his resignation. “We will definitely file a defamation case. Already I have issued a notice in the afternoon (to the channel),” he added.
The leader of opposition in Andhra Pradesh assembly and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu demanded the immediate sacking of Tiwari, a veteran Congress leader, for his alleged involvement in the ‘scandal’.
“The only way for him (Tiwari) is to resign or the Centre should sack him,” Naidu said.
“It is a very fortunate and shocking incident. The values and ethics have gone down, and institutions which are like temples of democracy have been degenerated,” he said.
“Never in the past have we witnessed such incidents,” he said. Naidu also demanded a CBI inquiry.
Offices like that of the governor were like ‘temples’, and people holding such high offices should be exemplary, Naidu observed, and added that everyone should be ashamed of the “Raj Bhavan sex scandal”.
Ravindra Reddy, ACP Banjara Hills and other police officials went to the channel’s office and handed over the high court orders.
Women activists protested before the Raj Bhavan, condemning the alleged portrayal of the governor in the footage shown.