Sins of the past have come back to haunt Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu. A local court in Maharashtra which is hearing a 2010 case related to an agitation over the Babli project across the Godavari river has issued an arrest warrant against the Andhra Pradesh CM and 15 others. The arrest warrant was issued by the judicial first-class magistrate of Dharmabad in Nanded district, N R Gajbhiye. Gajbhiye issued the order which directs the police to arrest the 16 accused including Chandrababu Naidu and to produce them in court by September 21st.
The incident in 2010 happened when Naidu was in opposition in the united Andhra Pradesh. Naidu and others had started the agitation near the Babli project site in Maharashtra. The agitators led by Chandrababu Naidu had then alleged that the Babli project would affect the people living downstream, following which they were arrested and put in a jail in Pune. They were released a few days later, though they did not seek bail. Besides Naidu, state Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and Social Welfare Minister N Anand Babu, former MLA G Kamalakar (now a member of the TRS) were among the Telugu Desam Party workers who were booked in the same case.
After a petition was filed by a Maharashtra resident, the local court issued the arrest warrant on July 5th, it was initially supposed to be executed by August 16th but was later on deferred to September 21. The TDP leaders including Naidu have been charged with many offences which fall under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) such as assault or criminal force, stopping public servants from discharge of duty, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous means or weapons, an act endangering life or personal safety of others, criminal intimidation among others. The case which has been pending since 2010 will escalate troubles for the Andhra Pradesh CM whose popularity is dipping in his home state and all the measures taken to improve his image have failed. Naidu who was the leader of opposition in united Andhra Pradesh back in 2010 is now the CM, an arrest will cause a dent in his image and disrespecting the courts order will cause further troubles for him.
Naidu seems to be surrounded on all sides, first his split with the NDA made him a villain in the eyes of the people of Andhra Pradesh. He tried to join the Congress led UPA where he was given least importance. His gimmick of bringing a no-confidence motion against the central government fell flat. This arrest warrant will not only harm him and TDP but will also affect the way the united opposition sees Naidu and his party.