Ex-minister says Naidu responsible for Punganur arson and violence

VIJAYAWADA: YSR Congress MLA Vellampalli Srinivasa has accused Telugu Desam chief Chandrababu Naidu of betraying Rayalaseema despite working as chief minister for 14 years.

The former minister alleged that Naidu engineered the Punganur arson and violence out of a fear that he would not be able to defeat the YSR Congress in this constituency in the next elections. “The clash started when Chandrababu insisted on entering Punganur by diverting from his scheduled route map,” he alleged.

YSRC leaders and cadres led by Srinivasa Rao and Vijayawada Mayor Rayana Bhagyalakshmi staged a protest here on Sunday against Naidu and TD leaders, accusing them of organising attacks on police and torching police vehicles in Punganur.

Srinivasa Rao said, “The people are living happily in AP due to the corruption-free governance and implementation of welfare schemes to all the eligible on a saturation basis. There was no response to Naidu’s meetings from the public. Hence, he conspired to create a law and order situation by provoking the TD cadres against the police even as they were providing him security and protection.”

The MLA said the police gave permission to Naidu to conduct his yatra through the bypass in Punganur but the TD leader was bent on creating disturbances and entered Punganur. "The police intervened to maintain law and order and stopped Chandrababu. However, he and his supporters attacked the police with stones and set police vans on fire. This caused injuries to 50 policemen.”

Taking a dig at Pawan Kalyan, MLA Srinivas questioned why the JS leader did not condemn the attack on the police. He accused Chandrababu of encouraging violence with a view to returning to power.

Mayor Bhagyalakshmi condemned the “attack on policemen by TD goondas.” She and other leaders challenged Chandrababu to contest against Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy in the coming elections. “Naidu does not have public support. Hence he brought outsiders to Punganur and unleashed violence, she said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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