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YSRCP workers vandalise TDP offices in Andhra Pradesh

Sources said that TDP offices were attacked after party leaders questioned the YSRCP government’s ‘poor’ handling of the power crisis in the state.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
Updated: October 20, 2021 11:06:59 am
Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. (Express Photo/File)

In what appeared to be coordinated attacks, ruling YSRCP workers and supporters, armed with iron rods and sticks, on Tuesday targeted TDP offices across Andhra Pradesh Tuesday evening, damaging property and assaulting workers of the opposition party.

Several TDP workers were injured in the attacks at the party offices in state capital Amaravati, Mangalagiri, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, and all the 13 district offices.

Terming the attacks as an attempt to stifle the voice of the main opposition party, TDP national president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said law and order has collapsed in the state, and demanded President’s rule. He announced a statewide bandh on Wednesday.

Shortly after the attacks, Naidu also spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, informing them about the attacks by the ruling party workers. He sought from Shah security cover by central forces for TDP offices and leaders and called for President’s rule in the state.

YSRCP spokesperson Ambati Rambabu said the attacks were party workers’ reaction to “wild allegations against YSRCP leaders and the Chief Minister”.

Over the past few days, the TDP has been building pressure on the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government over two issues – mishandling of the severe energy crisis in the state arising out of coal shortage for power plants, and alleged rampant cultivation and smuggling of ganja in the state.

(Twitter/ANI)
Explained

A first in Andhra

WHILE minor and localised clashes between workers of YSRCP and TDP have been reported from urban and rural areas of the state earlier over statements made by the opposition party, this is the first time that such a coordinated attack across the state has taken place. The TDP accused police of inaction as the mobs vandalised their offices and called it an example of collapse of law and order in the state.

TDP leaders, including Naidu, raised questions relating to Telangana Police’s operation in Araku Valley of Visakhapatnam district against alleged ganja smugglers. They accused YSRCP leaders of being hand in glove with narcotic smugglers in facilitating cultivation and sale of ganja.

A video grab of YSRCP workers barging into a TDP office.

Senior TDP leader and MLC Nara Lokesh, son of party chief Naidu, said, “Our demand for a white paper on the coal and power crisis in the state, and questioning why Telangana Police was conducting an operation in Andhra Pradesh over narcotics supply, has angered the YSRCP leadership. They ordered these attacks on our offices to silence us.”

While the TDP accused the police of inaction, DGP D Gautam Sawang said anyone indulging in inciting violence against any party or leader would be dealt with strictly according to the law.

“We are warning political workers of all parties not to indulge in violence. If anyone says anything that incites violence against a particular party of their leaders, they will be dealt with severely,” he said. “We will take strict action against those who were involved in today’s attacks on the TDP offices. I have deployed additional forces across the state to prevent such attacks.”

TDP’s central office being attacked by YSRCP workers. (Twitter/ANI)

In his conversation over the phone with Shah, Naidu requested the Union Home Minister for central forces’ security for party offices and workers. He said the attacks were premeditated and politically motivated. He alleged that law and order in the state has collapsed under the present regime.

Shah assured Naidu to look into the matter. He also assured him of central security cover to TDP offices and leaders.

After the conversation, Naidu in a letter to Shah described the attacks as “state-sponsored terrorism” on democracy. He accused the police of not acting against the mob that targeted the TDP central office although it is not far from the state police headquarters. “I called the DGP at 5.03 pm but he did not pick the phone. Our party office staff called local police station but in vain.

The attack finally took place at 5.16 pm. This was a result of the collusion of the government and Andhra Pradesh police,” he wrote.

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