Denied permission for roadshow in Kuppam, Naidu goes door to door in his home constituency

Amidst the prohibitory orders on roadshows and meetings on roads in the state, the TDP supremo had to take up a ‘padayatra’ in  Kuppam.

BySNV Sudhir

Published Jan 04, 2023 | 8:53 PMUpdatedJan 04, 2023 | 8:57 PM

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu in Kuppam on Wednesday, 4 January, 2022. (Creative Commons)

High tension prevailed in Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu’s home constituency Kuppam in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, 4 January.

Amidst the prohibitory orders on roadshows and meetings on roads in the state, the TDP supremo had to take up a “padayatra” as he visited several homes in the Peddur village of Kuppam.

This came after Naidu had a heated exchange with the local police, who tried to serve him a notice about the restrictions in place as per GO No 1.

Police personnel in large numbers were deployed on the border of the Kuppam Assembly segment as Naidu was coming from the Bengaluru airport by road.

Policemen were also deployed in large numbers at the Santhipuram village, where the TDP workers had set up a stage for Naidu to address a meeting.

Even before Naidu reached Kuppam, the police seized at least four campaign and publicity vehicles of the TDP citing a lack of permission to hold any meeting or roadshow in Kuppam.

Members of the staff of the TDP office were also detained by the police.

There was also a minor scuffle between the police and TDP workers in Santhipuram, where the cops had to use mild force to disperse the crowds.

Naidu is expected to be in Kuppam over the next two days, and plans to visit several villages.

Also read: Day after Guntur stampede, police detain NRI Vuyyuru Srinivas

Naidu lambasts police, government

Naidu criticised both the state government and the police for creating hurdles to his visit to Kuppam.

Naidu told reporters in Peddur that both the Andhra Pradesh government and the police should know and acknowledge the fact that he had won from Kuppam seven times and that he had informed the police about his visit well in advance.

He added that he felt the GO issued on 2 January clearly indicated that the meetings needed to be held only at the ruling party’s whim.

Pointing out that Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday organised a meeting at Rajahmundry, where a holiday was declared for all educational institutions, and used private transport, RTC, and school and college buses to forcibly bring people to the event, the TDP supremo said even Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) members were threatened with discontinuation of their pension if they failed to attend the meeting.

“The people are being subjected to various kinds of problems if they fail to attend the ruling-party leaders’ meetings. Even those who are unwell are not being spared,” Naidu alleged.

He also asked how the YSRCP leaders organised a meeting at Vizianagaram after the GO was issued.

Stating that he had already asked the local Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) why he is not allowed to move around Kuppam, the former Andhra Pradesh chief minister wanted to know why his roadshow was being stopped.

“The DSP told me to make door-to-door visits to meet people personally and interact with them,” Naidu said.

Also read: 8 killed in stampede at TDP roadshow of Chandrababu Naidu

YSRCP reacts sharply

YSRCP MLC KJR Bharath slammed Naidu for allegedly jeopardising people’s lives to satisfy his “petty political motives”.

Attacking Naidu for apparently flouting rules and conducting a rally in Kuppam less than a week since the Guntur tragedy that left three dead, Bharath said, “Naidu can stoop to any level for his own publicity.”

Despite prior intimation by the police to avoid a rally in Kuppam, the TDP supremo defied all the government orders and disobeyed police instructions to continue the rally, he claimed.

“The TDP also provoked its cadre to get into a brawl with the police while they were trying to maintain law and order. Today’s incident proves that Chandrababu Naidu is desperate for people’s attention, which he is not getting otherwise. People across the state have rejected him. Even the people of Kuppam aren’t ready to welcome him as he had failed miserably to serve them. Hence, he is trying all means to gain people’s sympathy,” said Bharath.