Vijayawada: Ending his two-month-long lockdown at his Jubilee Hills residence in Hyderabad, the TDP boss and former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu entered Andhra Pradesh on Monday.
Accompanied by his son and TDP national general secretary N Lokesh, the TDP chief travelled on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada National Highway to reach his residence on the outskirts of Vijayawada.
Though Chandrababu Naidu was scheduled to fly to Visakhapatnam to visit the victims of the LG Polymers styrene vapour leak, he had to change his plans as the state government did not allow domestic flights to any airports located in Andhra Pradesh.
When Chandrababu Naidu entered Andhra Pradesh at the Garikapadu border check post, scores of enthusiastic TDP workers and leaders welcomed him. Holding TDP flags, the slogan-shouting cadre completely violated all social distancing norms and jostled with each other to catch the attention of their leader.
The TDP chief came under sharp criticism from the ruling YSR Congress for what it described as double standards practised by Chandrababu Naidu. Naidu has on several occasions criticised ruling party legislators for moving with people in groups, violating social distancing rules.
“It is better if Chandrababi Naidu himself explains to people how many cases should be booked against him for violating the stringent Covid-19 containment norms imposed by the Centre and state governments for the safety of people,” said government chief whip G Srikanth Reddy.
The former chief minister wore a mask and whenever the crowd stopped the convoy, he waved in his signature style, showing the victory sign, without getting down from the vehicle. Thanks to his security personnel, there was a safe distance between him and the enthusiastic crowds who did not bother to wear masks, exposing the security personnel to risk.
A senior party leader told Deccan Chronicle that specific instructions were given not to gather on the road. In some places, the crowd came in front of the convoy and did not move till Naidu came out of the vehicle and greeted them, he said.