VIJAYAWADA: Political tensions flared up in Andhra Pradesh after the TDP’s headquarters at Mangalagiri was attacked by alleged YSRC supporters Tuesday evening protesting the unsavoury remarks of the spokesperson of the Opposition party against Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The residence of the party spokesperson, Kommareddy Pattabhiram, in Vijayawada also came under attack while activists allegedly belonging to the YSRC made vain attempts to march on the TDP offices at several other places. Additional forces have been deployed across the State to prevent further attacks and counter-attacks.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu strongly condemned the attacks and called for a Statewide bandh Wednesday against what he termed as “State-sponsored terrorism.” Naidu, who rang up Union Home Minister Amit Shah, demanded central security for TDP offices and imposition of President’s rule in the State.
Home Minister Sucharita refuted Naidu’s charges, insinuating that TDP cadre themselves could be involved in the attacks so as to show the government in a poor light. She advised the TDP to refrain from using vulgar language against the Chief Minister and instead, offer constructive advice, if any, to the government.
Trouble began after Pattabhi, addressing a press conference around 3 p.m, found fault with the Visakhapatnam police for serving notices on his colleague Nakka Anand Babu, who alleged involvement of political leaders and organised mafia in the ganja smuggling going on in the State with Visakhapatnam agency area as its epicentre.
Seeking to know how could the police serve notices on Anand Babu, he dared the government to serve notices on the Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh as well as Guntur district police who had publicly said the roots of ganja smuggling were in the State. Pattabhi, without directly referring to Jagan, called him names.Soon after, tension mounted as people, reportedly belonging to the YSRC, started to gather at the TDP office. The TDP leaders alleged they had informed the local police in vain.
Dozens of people barged into the TDP office and ransacked the premises damaging furniture and breaking window panes. They also damaged cars parked outside the office and hurled stones. The attackers were armed with sticks and even hammers, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu alleged later at a media conference.
Around the same time, several alleged YSRC cadre trespassed into the residence of Pattabhi and ransacked the entire house. Vijayawada City Police said they had despatched police personnel to his house immediately after his presser. However, they returned as nothing seemed amiss. Minutes after the police had left the place, a mob of around 50 people attacked the house.No cases have been registered till reports last came in.
Chandrababu Naidu and TDP senior leaders rushed to the Mangalagiri office and took stock of the situation. Speaking to media, Naidu alleged that the attack was “state-sponsored terrorism and Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and Director General of Police Gautam Sawang are hand in glove.” Claiming that there was a complete breakdown of law and order in the State, Naidu said he had never supported imposition of Article 356 but that now he had to demand the same.
Naidu said he tried to call up the DGP but was informed that the latter was at a meeting. “I spoke with Governor Biswa Bushan Harichandan and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and apprised them of the attacks. Is the DGP busier than them?’’ Naidu questioned.
Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharitha, on the other hand, rebutted allegations of police failure and clarified that the DGP was busy reviewing arrangements for the upcoming Police Commemoration Day.
“The TDP is spreading canards that the officer did not respond to Naidu’s calls,” she said.
The YSRC party, in a statement, said it has nothing to do with the attacks on TDP offices. “The party condemns the outrightly abusive statements made by the TDP spokesperson against the Chief Minister. Such statements were never made against any leader in the history of our great nation. This is a new low.’’ Meanwhile, BJP, Congress and the Jana Sena condemned the attacks on the TDP office.
Director General of Police Sawang, in a statement, said strict action would be taken against those who make provocative speeches. “Nobody should take law into their hands. Action will be taken against those who do so,’’ he said and urged citizens to stay calm and not get provoked. The DGP also said additional forces were deployed across the state to maintain law and order.
YSRC cadre to protest TDP’s remarks on CM
Condemning the abusive language used against the Chief Minister, YSRC general secretary and advisor (public affairs) Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy gave a call to the party cadre to stage protests across the State
Home Minister refutes TDP allegation
Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharitha rebutted Opposition Telugu Desam Party allegation of police failure and clarified that the DGP was busy reviewing arrangements for the upcoming Police Commemoration Day
DGP promises action against attackers
DGP Sawang, in a statement, said strict action would be taken against those who make provocative speeches. “Nobody should take law into their hands. Action will be taken against those who do so,’’ the DGP said