Amaravati, Jan (IANS) Tension gripped Kuppam town of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday as police stopped Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N. Chandrababu Naidu from holding a road show and addressing a public meeting.
There was high drama at Pedduru village near Andhra-Karnataka border as police stopped Naidu's convoy, citing a government order issued the previous day prohibiting meetings on roads.
The former Chief Minister had a heated argument with a police officer who stopped him and questioned under which law the government issued the order.
The Leader of Opposition slammed the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government for imposing curbs on his visit to his Assembly constituency Kuppam in Chittoor district.
The day-long drama saw TDP workers clashing with the police, which latter used force.
Naidu, who arrived at J.P. Kuturu village from Bengaluru around 4 p.m., was received by a large number of TDP supporters. He then left the village in a convoy but was stopped at Pedduru village.
DSP Sudhakar Reddy informed the TDP leader that there is no permission for the road show and rally. An angry Naidu got down from his car and had a heated argument with the police officer.
TDP workers tried to remove barricades erected by police to stop the convoy. At one point, they clashed with police, which then carried out a baton charge.
Talking to media persons, Naidu slammed Jagan Mohan Reddy government and said that "its days are numbered". He said people want the TDP to take responsibility to save the state. He said he would hold meetings in villages.
He reminded the YSRCP government that he won from Kuppam seven times and that he had informed the police about his visit much in advance. Stating that the government brought in the GO No-1 on January 2 imposing restrictions on the parties not to organise any road shows, Chandrababu Naidu felt that this clearly indicates that the meetings should be held only with the generosity of the ruling party.
He pointed out that Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday organised a meeting at Rajahmundry where holiday was declared for all educational institutions and people were forcibly brought to his meeting by the private transport, RTC, school and college buses.
"The people are being subjected to various kinds of problems if they fail to attend the ruling party leaders meetings. Even those who are unhealthy are not left out," Chandrababu Naidu remarked. How the YSRCP leaders organised a meeting at Vizianagaram after the GO was issued, he asked.
As there is a lot of awareness among the public they are now attending the TDP meetings on a large scale, he said and felt that the time has come for Jagan to go home. "He will not win again and has to go home," the TDP President said and added that the people are now reposing faith in the TDP that it is the only party that can now bailout the state.
"Had I, as Chief Minister, taken similar decisions like this, Mr Jagan would not have even moved out. How can the state government impose restrictions on me to visit my own constituency," he asked.
Earlier, the police stopped TDP workers and sent them back as they were heading to Santhipuram for the road show.
The police seized TDP's campaign vehicle (Prachara Radham) and the other vehicle carrying the sound system.
Hundreds of policemen were deployed as curbs were imposed on Naidu's visit. This came a day after the state government issued an order prohibiting public meetings on roads.
The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government took the step in the wake of December 28 stampede at Kandukur during Naidu's roadshow which had claimed eight lives.
The government has come under flak from the entire opposition for banning the public meetings and they called it an attempt to stifle the voice of dissent.
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