Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nedurumalli Janardhana Reddy and his wife and state Minister N Rajyalakshmi escaped unhurt in a Maoist attack in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh on Friday morning.
The incident happened near Vakadu, about 400 km southeast of Hyderabad. Three persons -- two Congress activists and the driver -- were, however, killed in the landmine blast.
Janardhana Reddy is a Member of Parliament belonging to the Congress. Rajyalakshmi is the Andhra Pradesh women development and child welfare minister.
Giving details of the incident, Nellore district Superintendent of Police K Lakshmi Reddy told rediff.com that "the former chief minister, accompanied by his minister-wife, was going to Tirupati from Vakadu (their native town). Janardhan Reddy was to receive his doctorate at the Sri Venkateswara Univirsity at Tirupati. So, he started early at 6.50 am. When the convoy was passing over a culvert after crossing Vidyanagar Institutes at Kota
on Vakadu-Gudur highway, they (Maoists) targeted the Minister's Innova car, thinking the former CM and his wife to be in that vehicle."
"They (Maoists) blasted a landmine (kept under the culvert). Their were eight cars in the convoy, including the pilot and escort cars and the former CM and his wife escaped unhurt as they were traveling in a bullet proof car. The blasted car was the fifth in the convoy. Two Congress activists and the car driver were killed in the blast," the SP said.
"Certainly, there is the hand of the Maoists behind this attack," the SP said, pointing out that there was a threat to the former CM from the Maoists.
During Janardhana Reddy's tenure as chief minister, the government had imposed a ban for the first time on the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (People's War) on May 21, 1992. The CPI-ML (People's War) became CPI-Moist in 2004.
Janardhana Reddy has been on the hit-list of Maoists since 1992. He is provided with heavy security. He had survived a Maoist attack a few years ago.