File photo: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday alleged that the non-bailable warrant against Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu by a Maharashtra court is a conspiracy by the Central government to target him.
Naidu, in his first reaction, said he was not afraid of the NBW as he did not commit any crime.
"During my entire political career, I always worked for the people," he told a public meeting in Kurnool on Friday.
Judicial Magistrate First Class, Dharmabad Court (Nanded), N.R. Gajbhiye on Thursday issued the NBWs against Naidu and his cabinet colleagues, Irrigation Minister D.U. Rao, Social Welfare Minister G. Kamalakar and 12 others in a 2010 case pertaining to an agitation against the Babli Barrage on the Godavari river.
The police have been ordered to arrest them and present them before the court at the next hearing on September 21.
The incident took place when the TDP had organised massive protests against what it termed the "illegal constructions" of the Babli Barrage project by the Maharashtra government allegedly to divert the Godavari river water from Telangana region of the then undivided Andhra Pradesh.
At that time, Naidu, who was the Leader of Opposition in the state, along with 40 legislators, had entered the barrage vicinity flouting prohibitory orders clamped there.
The police had caned some protesters and later arrested all of them.
Later, as Naidu refused to take bail, he was sent back to Hyderabad by a flight, and subsequently cases were filed against all agitators on various counts.
The TDP chief said he wanted to go to the Babli project site to lodge a protest as the project would have reduced north Telangana to a desert.
"Whether we are in power or in opposition, we always fought for the people," Naidu said.
TDP MP Kesineni Nani told reporters in Vijayawada that the central government is resorting to a witch-hunt against the TDP chief for fighting against the injustice meted out to Andhra Pradesh.
Nani wondered how NBWs can be issued now when Maharashtra Police had stated that time that the case is being closed.
Nani alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy have hatched the conspiracy. The MP, however, said nobody can do anything to Naidu as he enjoyed the people's support.
Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Shivaji said on Friday that a big conspiracy was being hatched against Naidu. He claimed that more notices would be issued to the TDP leader in the coming days.
Shivaji, who was earlier with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had said last week that Naidu would soon get the notice as the Central government is looking to target him under what he calls operation 'Garuda'.
However, BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh denied that their party is behind the warrant against Naidu.
Naidu's TDP pulled out of the BJP-led NDA in March this year. The party later moved a no trust motion against the Narendra Modi government.