A ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) worker was caught on camera roughing up a person with physical disabilities on a campaign stage in poll-bound Huzurabad of Karimnagar district. The incident took place on Monday night ahead of the upcoming bye-election that has been necessitated by the resignation of former Minister Eatala Rajender.
TRS which fielded Gellu Mahesh Yadav from its student wing to the yet-to-be announced bye poll organised Dhoom Dham, a campaign programme in Vavilala village seeking votes. Rajesh, a person with disabilities, had gone to the campaign where he was roughed up by a TRS activist for trying to raise his concerns over not receiving Aasara pension for the last few years. Aasara pension is provided by the state government to persons with disabilities.
In a video that has since gone viral on social media Rajesh is held by the collar and pushed down on an empty stage by the TRS worker. Rajesh then gets up and walks away from the party worker. After the video went viral, people demanded action against the TRS activist.
A differently able youth was manhandled by a #TRS leader during a party program in Vavilala of Karimnagar. The youth was demanding pension and created ruckus leading to the ruling party man pushing him. #Telangana pic.twitter.com/AkIiIsCXWK
— Aashish (@Ashi_IndiaToday) August 24, 2021
Speaking to the media, Rajesh denied allegations that he had gone to the meeting to create a ruckus. He said that he had gone to the campaign thinking that he would be assured his rightful pension. Rajesh said, "I went there to seek pension. Before that I went to the Collector and MPDO office a number of times and gave multiple representations but there was no response. Initially the police did not let me go up to the stage. At the end of the programme, as people were leaving I somehow got onto the stage only to get pushed down by the TRS activist."
Rajesh further said that he had gone to the meeting on his own and not at the behest of anyone else. He said some are trying to make his ordeal a political issue.
In another video, which reportedly emerged from the venue of the same meeting, a man purportedly belonging to the TRS was seen distributing money to men and women who attended the campaign from neighbouring villages.
The Huzurabad bye-poll has been making headlines with the TRS announcing sops and welfare schemes, even as the opposition alleges abuse of power by the ruling party.