MACHILIPATNAM: Minister for BC Welfare Kollu Ravindra and Machilipatnam MP Konakalla Narayana were in for a rude shock when a crowd chased them out of Kona village in Machilipatnam mandal Saturday.
Tension prevailed at Kona village, when the minister and MP arrived to convince the farmers to part with their lands for the proposed seaport and allied industries at Machilipatnam.
The duo, along with other TDP leaders, has been touring the villages notified for land acquisition to convince the farmers.On Saturday evening, an announcement was made over public address system urging the villagers to interact with minister and clarify their doubts, as he arrived in thevillage. In no time, men and women came running to the venue, carrying chilly powder and stones in their hands. They asked the terrified minister and MP how they dared to enter the village, when they had clarified their stand on land aquisition.
Farmers and villagers, who have been opposing the land acquisition from the beginning, declared that they do not want to lose their only source of income. They minced no words in telling Ravindra and Narayana to shut their mouth and leave the village. When the minister tried to explain, the angry mob hurled stones and chilly powder at the duo and tried to damage the escort vehicle of the minister’s convoy.
Minister’s personal assistant M Harinath suffered minor injury on his head in stone pelting.
Fearing for the lives of the minister and MP, police and other TDP leaders escorted them to Palletummapallem, a neighbouring village in another vehicle. On being alerted of villagers’ attack, police rushed to the village from the district headquarters. As the minister’s convoy had to return to Machilipatnam through Kona, police kept a tight vigil to prevent any further attacks.
Speaking to mediapersons after returning to Machilipatnam, the minister and MP said they were making efforts to convince the villagers to part with their land for development. They said they were able convince residents of other villages, but not the people in Kona village. “They refused to listen to us and cooperate,” they said and added that construction of the seaport will start and there are no two opinions about it.