The Mayor of Nellore Municipal Corporation, Potluri Sravanthi, who is from a Scheduled Tribe community, has accused three YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) corporators of behaving in a high-handed manner with her. Sravanthi claims that the corporators physically cornered her during a meeting of the municipal corporation after a dispute over a portrait of the YSRCP president and Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, hanging in the council hall. The Mayor has alleged that she was targeted by the corporators because of her tribal identity and her support for dissident YSRCP MLA Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy.
Chaos erupted at the meeting when the Mayor enquired about the portrait of CM Jagan installed in the council hall. Several YSRCP corporators surrounded her, demanding an apology. As the Mayor tried to leave the hall, escorted by police personnel, YSRCP corporators surrounded her and raised slogans against her. Speaking to the media, Sravanthi said that she was pushed around by a few corporators as she was leaving the hall.
On Tuesday, the Mayor reported the incident to the police, who registered an FIR under relevant sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The Mayor also intends to complain to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes about the incident.
The municipal council is reportedly split into factions comprising supporters of Nellore Rural MLA Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy, Nellore City MLA Anil Kumar Yadav, and Nellore MP Adala Prabhakara Reddy. Sravanthi alleges that she was targeted because she had backed MLA Kotamreddy Sridhar Reddy who turned a dissident against YSRCP after alleging that his phone was being tapped by the state government.
During Sunday’s meeting, Sravanthi had sought information from officials regarding the rules around hanging a portrait of the Chief Minister and other dignitaries in the council hall. YSRCP corporators objected to her questioning, perceiving it as an affront to CM Jagan. The corporators demanded that Sravanthi apologise for the incident or step down as Mayor. The Mayor then adjourned the council till a later time.
Nellore Deputy Mayor Roop Kumar has said that the Mayor, who was selected by CM Jagan, asking who put up his portrait, is a vile thing to do, and that the Mayor must apologise for it before the council meeting is held again.