VIJAYAWADA: In a clampdown against its main opposition, reminiscent of the 1975 Emergency, and more recently, the arrest of main political leaders in Jammu & Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, the Andhra Pradesh government led by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had the leader of opposition and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu house-arrested on Wednesday to prevent him from undertaking a protest yatra.
The AP police kept Mr Naidu, and Nara Lokesh, his son and MLC, in the house-arrest mode for the day on Karakatta road, on the banks of river Krishna, in Undavalli, and prevented party leaders and cadre from reaching their home.
Mr Naidu had given a call to Telugu Desam leaders and activists to march to Atamkur to highlight the alleged attacks on TD supporters by YSRC activists. The YSRC also gave a call for ‘Chalo Atamkur’; both rallies scheduled for Wednesday, in response to which, on the pretext of maintaining law and order, the police choose to respond with house arrests of opposition leaders.
The police also did not allow Telugu Desam leaders and cadre to reach Mr Naidu’s house on Karkatta road, in protesting which, TD cadre staged protests on the spot, and raised slogans against “police restrictions”. In the melee that ensued, marked by heated arguments between the police and TD leaders, several cadres received minor injuries.
The police also prevented several former ministers of the TD and other party leaders from reaching Mr Naidu’s house, by deploying policemen in large numbers along the way. Vijayawada Lok Sabha MP Kesineni Srinivas (‘Nani’) tried to go to Mr Naidu’s house but the state police forcibly stopped him near the Prakasam barrage.