ELURU/GUNTUR: Tension prevailed in Tadepalligudem on Thursday when former minister Pydikondala Manikyala Rao tried to come out of his house defying his house arrest by West Godavari district police to take part in an open debate with Zilla Parishad Chairman Mullapudi Bapiraju of ruling TDP.
The tension spilled over to Guntur district also with BJP leaders, including State party president Kanna Lakshminarayana, Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao and others staging a protest when they were prevented by police on their way to Tadepalligudem.
Around 3 pm, Manikyala Rao jumped over the compound wall of his house to take the challenge thrown by Bapiraju, but was promptly taken into custody by the police present there.His followers got into argument with the police and even tried to force their way out of the house. The police resorted to mild lathi charge to bring the situation under control and in the process, some BJP activists sustained minor injuries. Manikyala Rao and Bapiraju were at loggerheads over the development taken up by the TDP regime in Tadepalligudem Assembly constituency. On November 6, Bapiraju wrote an open letter to Manikyala Rao daring him for an open debate with regard to development in Tadepalligudem Assembly constituency. The former BJP minister agreed to the debate and said he was ready wherever and whenever the TDP leader wants to go for public debate.
Fearing unrest, the police put the duo under house-arrest. Bapiraju and Manikyala Rao were confined to their houses at Venkataramannagudem and Tadepalligudem.Miffed with the police curbs on them, both the leaders came out of their houses and got into argument with the police present there. At Venkataramannagudem, TDP activists had a minor scuffle with the police and in Tadepalligudem, Manikyala Rao staged a sit-in on the road protesting against the police attitude.
After staging the protest for about 90 minutes, the former minister went into his house. At 3 pm, he tried to come out when police resorted to caning the BJP activists.Speaking to media, Manikyala Rao and MLC Somu Veerraju condemned the lathicharge. BJP president Lakshminarayana, MP Narasimha Rao and other BJP leaders squatted on the National Highway-16 when they were stopped at Kanaka Durga Varadhi while they were going to Tadepalligudem to extend solidarity to Manikyala Rao.
The police removed the protesting leaders from the place and shifted them to Lakshminarayana’s residence in Guntur. Narasimha Rao accused Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu of acting as a dictator and suppressing the rights of opposition parties. BJP activists took out a rally in Guntur but were arrested and shifted to Nallapadu police station. Seeking a judicial inquiry into detention of Manikyala Rao, the BJP leaders made a representation to DGP RP Thakur.
Protest staged on National Highway-16
BJP leaders squatted on the National Highway-16 when they were stopped at Kanaka Durga Varadhi while they were going to Tadepalligudem to extend solidarity to former minister P Manikyala Rao.