Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Tuesday called for a huge rally at Atmakur in Guntur district in protest against the alleged attacks on Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members by workers of the ruling YSR Congress Party. “Chalo Atmakur” on Wednesday will see participation from victims of the alleged attacks along with thousands of TDP workers and leaders.
Naidu Tuesday also said he had set up a rehabilitation centre at the TDP headquarters at Guntur where help, including legal assistance, would be provided to victims. Naidu claimed several of the victims were from the Palnadu region, where workers were attacked and forced out of their homes.
“This rally is to highlight the atrocities committed by YSRCP leaders and their cadre on TDP activists and common people. It is to protect democracy and human rights of ordinary people who are living under the fear of YSRCP leadership. Hundreds of families have been forced to flee from their villages due to frequent attacks by YSRCP workers,’’ Naidu said Tuesday.
In his appeal, Naidu asked the TDP cadre to attend in large numbers and ensure it is a peaceful rally.
According to TDP, at least eight of its members were killed in attacks in the last four months, most of whom were from Palnadu. Leaders claimed at least 500 families were forced to flee their villages, including Atmakur. Those who were allegedly displaced due to the threat of violence will be taken back to their villages by TDP leaders.
“About 500 TDP workers, activists and sympathizers have been attacked by YSRCP leaders till now. The party has set up a camp for victims of violence by YSRCP goons in Guntur,” former TDP Minister Kalava Srinivasulu said.
Tempers soared on Tuesday as YSRCP MLAs Ambati Rambabu and A Ramakrishna Reddy announced they would also take out a counter-rally from the YSRCP office in Guntur to Atmakur to highlight alleged attacks on YSRCP workers during the TDP regime.
“Naidu is indulging in dirty politics. He is instigating people by calling from the rally,” Rambabu said.
In the last few days, dozens of families have arrived at the TDP headquarters saying they were forced to flee their villages as YSRCP workers were attacking them. The TDP has been arranging shelter and food for them.
TDP leaders accused the police of being mute spectators and not registering FIRs when YSRCP and TDP workers clashed. The TDP is likely to file a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday.
Section 144 in Andhra’s Guntur
Meanwhile, Andhra Home Minister M Sucharita said the government wouldn’t allow TDP leaders to disturb peace in the state. “Police have been told not to tolerate any attempts to disturb peace. Action would be taken against anyone trying to create a law and order situation,’’ she said Tuesday.
The situation in the Palnadu region became tense Tuesday as the Guntur Police imposed Section 144 — prohibiting the gathering of four or more people — ahead of the TDP’s rally.