An ugly war of words has broken out between the ruling YSRCP and the Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with the family members of former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu claiming that he has lost five kg in the last one month in jail, whereas the government claims he has in fact gained one kg, from 66 kg to 67 kg.
Chandrababu Naidu, 73, has been in Rajamahendravaram Central Jail as remand prisoner 7691, since September 10, when he was sent to judicial custody after being named as an accused in the alleged Rs 371 crore skill development scam.
Chandrababu Naidu’s son Lokesh, wife Bhuvaneswari and daughter-in-law Brahmani have all tweeted expressing grave concern over the health of Mr Naidu.
There is an undeniable and immediate threat to CBN’s life. He is being deliberately harmed. His safety is unquestionably at risk.
CBN is facing a dire situation, dealing with mosquitoes, contaminated water, weight loss, infections, and allergies, all without access to timely…
— Lokesh Nara (@naralokesh) October 13, 2023
Nara Bhuvaneswari has said she is worried that if Mr Naidu loses weight by another 2 kg, it could lead to kidney complications. Son Lokesh has said his father has been given steroids that he did not want to take as it could complicate his health condition.
I am deeply concerned for my husband’s well-being, as the Govt of Andhra Pradesh has failed to provide him with the timely medical care he urgently needs while he remains in prison. He has already lost 5 kg weight, and any further weight loss could have severe consequences for…
— Nara Bhuvaneswari (@ManagingTrustee) October 13, 2023
Daughter-in-law Brahmani has said inadequate and unsanitary prison conditions pose a considerable risk to his health and that they are deeply worried about him.
The family had earlier spoken about Mr Naidu suffering a skin allergy and threat of dengue from mosquitoes in the prison.
YSRCP rebel MP Raghurama Krishnamaraju has written a letter to governor Abdul Nazir alleging that there is a threat to Mr Naidu’s life.
TDP spokesperson Pattabhi asked why a health assessment panel had not been formed for Mr Naidu who is an NSG protectee, to take a call on his medical condition. He said they would seek treatment at a private hospital or a well-equipped government hospital for their leader.
In response, the jail authorities today released a health bulletin that suggested that his health parameters were normal. They also said dermatologists had gone in to see him and prescribe medication.
YSRCP spokesperson Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy dismissed the concerns being raised about Mr Naidu’s health as highly exaggerated. “If someone is critical and on the death bed, then health bulletins are released. Not when they are fit and healthy.”
Mr Reddy said Mr Naidu had been provided a separate barrack because of security concerns, he gets food and water from home and to expect that he would be provided with an air conditioner inside jail is too much.
“It is not his mother-in-law’s house that he will be provided with comforts like an air conditioner. There are thousands of prisoners inside the jail and he is also a remand prisoner who will be treated in a similar manner,” he said.