The row over a casino allegedly organised during Sankranti at a property owned by an Andhra Pradesh minister is refusing to die down with main opposition TDP on Thursday lodging a complaint with Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan with ‘evidence’.
Video clips and photographs of illegal casino organised at K. Convention in Gudivada, travel details of 13 women flying back to Goa and representations made to the DGP, Krishna district Collector, and other officials were submitted to the Governor by a delegation of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders.
The TDP claimed that 13 women who were brought for dances during the casino returned to Goa on January 17 and submitted the flight details of the women.
They handed over a letter by TDP chief and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to the Governor, demanding sacking of Civil Supplies Minister Kodali Nani and a comprehensive probe into the illegal activity organised during Sankranti celebrations.
The main opposition party also brought to the notice of the Governor the alleged attack on a fact-finding team of TDP during its visit to Gudivada last week and the alleged high-handedness of police.
Chandrababu Naidu also enclosed the report of the fact-finding committee with his five-page letter.
The TDP team was prevented from visiting the K. Convention Centre on January 21. The same day Minister Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao (Nani) made a sensational statement that if it was proved that the casino was organised at a function hall owned by him, he would quit politics and commit self-immolation.
Kodali Nani, as the minister is popularly known, said like at all other places, cockfight and gambling was held at Gudivada during Sankranti.
BJP state chief Somu Veerraju and other leaders were also detained by police on January 25 when they were on their way to Gudivada following ‘Chalo Gudivada’ given by the party in protest against the illegal casino organised at the minister’s function hall.
A row erupted over the casino after some videos went viral on social media on January 16.
Opposition TDP and BJP have slammed the YSRCP government for bringing in casino culture into the state.
The TDP President sought the Governor’s intervention to sack the minister to ensure an impartial probe. He demanded an inquiry through an appropriate agency into the episode of illegal casino.
He said the fact-finding committee’s report clearly established that the minister was behind the conduct of casino. He alleged that the equipment for casino were procured illegally while all laws related to income tax and foreign exchange were violated.
Naidu claimed that the illegal casino was organised from January 14 to 16. He alleged that in addition to the gambling and betting, indecent exposure of women and vulgar dance was also promoted at the casino.
“The casino is not only against the Telugu pride and culture but is in direct contravention to the culture and ethos of people of Andhra Pradesh,” Naidu wrote.