A Congress candidate from Telangana attempted self-immolation to prevent the police from conducting searches in his house at Kompally on the outskirts of Hyderabad late on Monday night.
Vanteru Pratap Reddy, who is contesting from the Gajwel assembly constituency against Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, was later arrested for obstructing the police from discharging their duties.
“No case has been filed so far,” a police official said.
According to Cyberabad Police, the Election Commission had received a complaint from TRS leaders earlier in the day that Reddy and his followers were distributing money to people at his Kompally residence.
A team led by Balanagar deputy commissioner of police Padmaja went to his residence to conduct searches in his house following an instruction from the poll body.
Reddy and his family members resisted the team’s entry into their house. He alleged the police were trying to intimidate Congress leaders and workers in the name of searches.
“There has been specific information that large-scale money distribution has been going at the farmhouse of KCR at Erravelli near Gajwel. I will give you a written complaint. Do you have the guts to conduct searches in his farmhouse?” he asked the police.
He said just because he was giving a tough fight against KCR, the chief minister was instigating the police to harass him mentally and physically. The police, however, tried to convince him that they were doing their duty under the poll body’s instructions.
As the police insisted they would have to break into the house, Reddy asked his followers to bring a bottle of petrol and tried to douse himself with fuel. Police, however, stalled his attempts.
Hundreds of supporters of the Congress candidate gathered near his house and started shouting slogans against the TRS government and the chief minister.
As the situation turned tense, police took Reddy into custody and warned the party workers against obstructing them while they were performing their duty. After an intense search for over an hour, the police left saying they did not find any money or valuables at the house.
Reddy sat on a hunger strike in front of the office of returning officer of Gajwel last Saturday, alleging that TRS leaders were tapping his phone and harassing him. He alleged the TRS was indulging in the large-scale distribution of money and liquor in the constituency.
Gajwel Police arrested him and took him away only to let him off later. But Reddy got himself admitted to a corporate hospital in Secunderabad complaining of low blood pressure.
The assembly elections in the state will be held on December 7 to elect representatives of 119 constituencies. The counting of votes will take place on December 11.