Hyderabad, Sep 11: Police have blocked TDP chief and former CM Chandrababu Naidu's attempt to leave his residence to lead a protest rally in defiance of his house arrest. As Naidu's car proceeded towards the main exit, the police secured the main gate using ropes.
"Opposition leader of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu is being taken into preventive custody as his actions are increasing tensions and creating disturbance to law and order in the Palnadu region of Guntur district."
Police clarified that preventive custody was not because Naidu opposed the government.
Nadu and his son under house arrest
Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh have been put under house ahead of a massive protest called against alleged political violence by YSRCP.
Several TDP leaders like Devineni Avinash, Kesineni Nani, Tangirala Sowmya and Bhooma Akhilapriya are also under house arrest. The TDP has accused the YSR Congress Party of indulging into political violence after coming to power in May.
Atrocious, says Naidu
Talking to reporters inside the compound, the former Chief Minister termed the police action as "atrocious" and "unprecedented in history."
"The situation is horrible. Many of our party leaders, including MPs and MLAs, have been taken into custody at various places. Several others were kept under house arrest.
All this held a mirror to the nefarious mentality of the ruler (Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy)," Naidu remarked.
The Leader of Opposition announced that he would not give up and certainly undertake the Atmakuru visit whenever police allowed him.
Alleging that about 120 Scheduled Caste families have been driven out of their village by the YSR Congress and police, he said, "They are taking shelter in a camp organised by the TDP. I wanted to take them back to the village and ensure that everyone there lived in harmony."
"I will see how long they will keep me under house arrest. I will not be cowed down. I will stand by the victims and fight for their rights," Naidu asserted.
Section 144 has been imposed in Narasaraopeta, Sattenapalle, Palnadu and Gurajala. With the TDP cadre not being allowed to protest, Naidu has called for a 12-hour hunger strike across the state.
Stating that the TDP will go ahead with the protest, Naidu's son and party general secretary Nara Lokesh had tweeted that the "struggle would continue till justice is done to the victims of violence perpetrated by the YSRCP".
Why is TDP Protesting?
The TDP had planned a protest against alleged violence and intimidation by the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). Naidu's party alleged eight TDP workers have been killed and several face threats from Reddy's party that completed 100 days in power last week.
What is TDP's 'Chalo Atmakur' rally?
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by N Chandrababu Naidu had announced 'Chalo Atmakur' on September 11. As part of the rally, the TDP said it will be campaigning for 'saving democracy' and 'safeguarding human rights in the region'.
Telugu Desam has accused the YSRCP of indulging into political violence. TDP has alleged that the cadres of the YSRCP have killed as many as eight of its party workers and have attacked many more. The party had claimed that the violent acts have risen in Palnadu region of the state since the declaration of Andhra Pradesh Assembly election results.
During the Atmakur rally, the TDP leaders were scheduled to visit the rehabilitation centre at the party headquarters in Guntur district to meet the victims who had to flee their villages due to alleged attacks by the political workers.
YSRCP to counter TDP rally
To counter the TDP's 'Chalo Atmakur' march, the YSRCP has decided to stage its own protest with victims of the attacks by TDP leaders.
Alleging that the TDP was only seeking to create a scene using "paid artists," the YSRC too gave a call for 'Chalo Atmakuru' but police denied permission to both sides and clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr PC.
A large police force has been deployed in Atmakuru and also in Palnadu region to prevent untoward incidents.