Bandh called by TDP in Andhra Pradesh to protest attacks on its offices passes off peacefully

Published : October 20, 2021 21:11 IST

Police personnel deployed in Vijayawada in view of the bandh called by the TDP. Photo: V. Raju

The day-long bandh called by the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh passed off peacefully. Normal life, barring the functioning of educational institutions, remained unaffected and no untoward incidents were reported.

The bandh was called by the TDP in protest over attacks that took placed on October 19 on its State headquarters in Mangalagiri in Guntur district and several of its offices across the State’s districts, and the vandalising of the residence of its national spokesperson Kommareddy Pattabhi Ram. The TDP top leadership blamed the ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for the attacks, with the TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu terming the attacks “state sponsored terrorism”.

Chandrababu Naidu, who has demanded a thorough inquiry into the attacks and the imposition of President’s Rule in the State, has accused the Director General of Police Gautam Sawang of complicity and collusion with Jagan Mohan Reddy in carrying out the attacks in a pre-planned manner. The TDP president has also dashed off a letter to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah stating that the law and order situation had completely collapsed in the State. In the run-up to the hartal, most of the senior TDP leadership was detained by the police in their respective houses.

He also spoke to Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan on the telephone and apprised him about the attacks on the TDP offices.

Said Chandrababu Naidu: “Police and government colluded and attacked TDP offices at several places. These are organised attacks. I appeal to the people. Why should we hesitate to ask for implementation of Article 365 of the Constitution? What else do we need to show for the failure of law and order in the state?”

The attacks on the TDP offices and Kommareddy Pattabhi Ram’s residence took place after the spokesperson had in a press conference criticised the State government for its inaction against rampant ganja cultivation in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam.

He criticised the police for serving notices on a former TDP Minister Nakka Ananda Babu, who alleged that certain YSRCP leaders were involved in the smuggling of narcotics. In the press conference, the TDP spokesperson used some foul words against the Chief Minister. This evoked strong protests from YSRCP leaders and cadre, who went on a rampage.

Pattabhi Ram told the news agency ANI after the attacks: “My house has been totally ransacked today. They have done it because I questioned the State government about the dealings of drugs in Andhra Pradesh. Wherever you go in the country, drugs are being supplied from Andhra Pradesh. So, I and the party senior leaders questioned him.”.

T.J.R. Sudhakar Babu, YSRCP legislator from Guntur, said TDP leaders had crossed all limits of decency in using foul language against the Chief Minister. “We don’t mind if the TDP leaders criticise policies of the government. But we won’t tolerate if they use abusive language against our leader,” he said.

Meanwhile, DGP Gautam Sawang appealed to the people to exercise restraint. He also said that action will be taken against the perpetrators of violence. A press release from the DGP’s office said additional forces have been deployed across the State and that stern action would be taken against people who make provocative remarks.