VIJAYAWADA: Fasting kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham called off his hunger strike at about 1.15 p.m. on Monday after talks for about one and a half hours with a four member delegation from the government at his residence in Kirlampudi in East Godavari district.
It is not yet known the terms at which he had given up his hunger strike and the government and the kapu leader are yet to formally announce the end of the protest. The state government's emissaries were AP TDP president K Kala Venkata Rao, sports minister K Atchen Naidu, legislators Boddu Bhaskara Rama Rao and Thota Trimurthulu.
At about 1.15 p.m., a team of doctors went inside his house, taking lemon juice with them to make him call off his hunger strike. A little later, information trickled out that the fasting leader called off his protest.
Tension eased to some extent at Padmanabham's residence in Kirlampudi in East Godavari district in the morning itself with indications that he might end his fast. The development occurred immediately after Boddu Bhaskara Rama Rao and Thota Thrimurhtulu conferring with the fasting leader till late on Sunday night.
At about 11.40 a.m. on Monday, Kala Venkata Rao and Athchen Naidu joined the two legislators and resumed talks with the Kapu leader and after one and a half hours, their efforts bore fruit.
In fact, on Sunday night, the two legislators a proposal to Padmanabham that he could have his nominee on the board of the AP Kapu Development and Welfare Corporation besides the corporation clearing all the applications that come before it for financial assistance till the end of this financial year regardless of how much the financial burden would work out to be.
The two member delegation also promised that the government would consider his other demand for shortening the time given for the KL Manjunath Commission to complete its study of socio-economic conditions of the kapus to include them among the Backward Classes.
Meanwhile, the police continued to prevent anyone reaching Kirlampudi, fearing that they might foment passions. All the leaders who are arriving in Rajamahendravaram are being asked to stay put there and not to go to Kirlampudi.
When film director Dasari Narayana Rao arrived in the morning, the police asked him stay in hotel relax. Later Narayana Rao came down heavily on police for stopping him from going to Kirlampudi demanding to know on what grounds they had prevented him. "Even during British rule, restrictions of this nature were not seen," he said.
A little later, the police arrested Rajya Sabha member and former Union Minister Chiranjeevi and APCC president N Raghuveera Reddy on their arrival in Rajamahendravaram to visit Kirlampudi.