VIJAYAWADA: Controversial Andhra Pradesh MLA and former film star Roja was back in the eye of a storm as she was detained at the Gannavaram airport in Vijayawada after she arrived to attend the National Women's Parliament in Vijayawada.
The motormouth MLA, who belongs to the YSR Congress (YSRC) party, is just coming off a year-long suspension from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for unparliamentary behaviour. On Saturday, she landed in Vijayawada as an invitee to the National Women's Parliament events. Not long after landing, a storm was kicked up.
Roja claimed she was detained by the police and confined to a room in the airport for about an hour because Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was scheduled to catch a flight at the Gannavaram airport and passenger movement was restricted. She put out a cell phone video from a vehicle, purportedly under police escort, claiming that she was being moved to Ongole in Prakasam district, 100 km away. The video went viral on social media.
Police in Vijayawada did not confirm these events. In her video, former actress Roja alleged that she was misled by the police.
She demanded to know if the State government under Chandrababu Naidu was scared to let her attend the National Women's Parliament. "They are spending over Rs 11 crore for the event and invited many legislators and parliamentarians from across the country. But they do not want me at the venue. If they were scared, they should not have invited me," she claimed.
Speaking to the media, YSR Congress MLA Giddi Eeswari observed that it was wrong on part of the State government to detain an elected legislator especially after having invited her to the National Women's Parliament.
"It seemed like Roja was being kidnapped to prevent her from participating in the event. We demand an explanation from Andhra Pradesh Assembly speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu," she said.
However, TDP leader Sobha Hymavati rubbished the allegations that Roja was kidnapped. She said
Roja was coming to the National Women's Parliament not to participate as a delegate, but to create a ruckus. She pointed out that several YSRC legislators and parliamentarians have already attended the Women's Parliament. "If we had any other motive, we would not have invited Roja," she said.