Andhra Pradesh

Chandrababu Naidu under house arrest amidst high drama in Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh police did not take any chances ahead of the Chalo Atmakur call given by both the TDP and the YSRCP on Wednesday. All senior TDP leaders including Chandrababu Naidu and Nara Lokesh were put under house arrest and not allowed to venture out to take part in the protest programme. In protest, the former chief minister said he will sit on fast at home till Wednesday evening.

Right from early morning, the police knocked on the door of prominent TDP leaders all over the state to detain them inside their home. Section 144 has been imposed in Palnadu region in Guntur and barricades were put up to prevent activists from moving towards Atmakur. (Photographs of former minister Devineni Uma detained at home and Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani being arrested at the Prakasam barrage below)

There was high drama inside Novotel hotel in Vijayawada where former minister Bhuma Akhila Priya was detained and not allowed to leave the floor on which she was staying. She objected to police entering her room without permission. (see tweet video)

Over the past three months since the YSR Congress came to power, the Telugu Desam alleges that its activists have been at the receiving end of attacks by the ruling party leaders and cadre. This according to the TDP, has resulted in deaths of eight of its party workers, most of them in the violence-prone Palnadu region of Guntur district. Some 500 party activists have been attacked as well, says the TDP. 

Which is why Chandrababu Naidu planned to be in Atmakur to protest against the alleged attacks and assure the leadership support to the TDP cadre. He alleged that 125 people are living in a camp because they are scared. The YSRCP retorts that not more than 45 people are at the camp.

These are people who have been paid by the TDP to stay there,'' alleges YSRCP MP Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu.

Realising that the YSRCP will come across as using the authority of being in power, the ruling party has decided to take the TDP head-on. It points that its cadre bore the brunt when Naidu was in power. Giving a `Chalo Atmakur’ call on the same day, it asked victims of the 2014-19 period to come out and narrate alleged terror tales of the Naidu government. 

On target specifically is former Speaker Kodela Sivaprasad Rao who hails from the region. The `victims’ will speak about false cases foisted on them at the instance of the TDP leaders. While stressing that what it is saying is true, the YSRCP accuses Naidu of making an issue out of a non-issue by building a false narrative.

The peculiarity of the Palnadu region – which covers south west Guntur and parts of Prakasam district – is that not all feuds are necessarily political. They are village-level, personal rivalries, sustained over generations. In some cases, the aggressor or the victim has political affiliations which is exploited by political parties to give it a political twist.

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