Visakhapatnam airport, January 2017 to Visakhapatnam airport, February 2020.
By sheer coincidence, the airport of the Port city was the theatre of political rivalry between Jaganmohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu. Three years ago, Jagan – then the Leader of the Opposition – was not even allowed to enter the VIP lounge of the airport, forcing him to sit on a dharna on the tarmac with fellow party leaders. The then Naidu regime refused to let him into Vizag where he wanted to take part in a dharna demanding Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh. Jagan was put on the next flight to Hyderabad, angering the YSRCP leader.
Then the Naidu government had reasoned that it was Republic Day and the next day, the CII Partnership Summit was to be hosted in Vizag. The argument was that protests could mar Vizag’s image in the presence of dignitaries.
On Thursday, Naidu flew into Vizag to protest as part of his Praja Chaitanya Yatra, against the alleged grabbing of assigned land. But YSRCP leaders and activists in the city clearly wanted to give the former chief minister a taste of his own medicine. Armed with `Naidu Go Back’ banners, they shouted slogans against the TDP chief, to highlight his decision opposing the move to establish the administrative capital of Andhra Pradesh in Vizag. The YSRCP plan is to render the Telugu Desam ineffective in Visakhapatnam and by extension, north coastal Andhra, by underlining that Naidu is only Amaravati-focused and does not favour development of this region.
With the protests, Naidu could not enter the city and the police made him go back to the airport, detaining him first inside the lounge and then making him board the flight out of the city. An enraged Naidu argued with a senior cop, accusing the police officers of not doing their job (pic below) and deliberately allowing the protesters to have a field day. Incidentally, an angry Jagan had accused the police of being partisan two years ago.
Categories: Andhra Pradesh