SC MLA alleges discrimination inside Ganesh pandal

File photo of Sri Devi.

In a state where an SC woman could become the home minister, an incident of humiliating a woman MLA belonging to SC community kicked up a political row. The police acted swift and took four persons into custody on the charge of insulting the woman MLA during Ganesh festival on Monday.

The woman legislator from the ruling YSRCP, Vundavalli Sridevi representing Tadikonda, alleged that a few upper caste men threw casteist remarks at her when she entered a pandal at Annavaram village under the capital city region here. They reportedly used filthy language and warned her against touching the idol of Lord Ganesh.

Speaking to media, the teary legislator said on Tuesday that the men at the pandal hurt her feelings. “All those who had shouted at her belonged to the opposition Telugu Desam Party. It is painful to note that casteism has taken an upper hand in the state capital. The TDP has targeted me because I have unearthed several land scams done by the TDP leaders in Amaravati,” she said.

She added that her husband belongs to the Kapu community and they both go to churches, temples and masjids. “Here at the Ganesh pandal, I was insulted by my caste,” she said.

Upset, the legislator left the place and lodged a complaint with the Director-General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang and Guntur district superintendent of police. The Thulluru police registered a case against Kommineni Sivaiah, Kommineni Sai, Kommineni Ramakrishna and Kommineni Bujji and booked them under various sections of the SC, ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act and IPC 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman) and 294 (indecent behaviour).

Andhra Pradesh Women’s Commission chairperson Vasireddy Padma spoke to the DGP and asked him to deal sternly with those who insulted the legislator.

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