VISAKHAPATNAM, VIJAYAWADA, KADAPA, ANANTAPUR, NELLORE AND KAKINADA: Telugu Desam leaders and activists on Saturday organised agitations state-wide against rise in prices of petrol, diesel and essential commodities.
The protests, based on a call given by party supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu, were novel. Party leaders and cadres pulled four wheelers with ropes and carried motorcycles on rickshaws and bullock carts. They blamed the state government for failing to curb the rise in prices. They vowed to continue their protests until the YSR Congress does not roll back the prices.
Protests by Telugu Desam continued despite police placing several TD leaders under house arrest.
In Vijayawada, Telugu Desam organised a ‘maha dharna’ at Dharna Chowk. TD legislator Rammohan reached the site leading a bicycle rally from Ashoknagar. He slammed the state government for failing to control rise in prices. He demanded that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy reduce taxes and road cess, as they were causing hardships to commoners.
Telugu Desam carried out the protests in all 175 assembly segments of the state. Addressing one of the protests, former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said Andhra Pradesh tops the country, with petrol costing Rs 108.71 a litre and diesel Rs. 100.25. VAT on petrol is 31 percent, while development cess is Rs. 4 and road development cess another Rs. 4.
Naidu maintained that when TD was in power, a litre of petrol was Rs. 76. But now, it has crossed Rs 108. Diesel has gone up from Rs. 50 to Rs. 100.
In Kadapa, TD organised a “half-naked” demonstration from Old Bus Stand to Gandhi Statue. TD leaders laid wreaths at the Phule statue as mark of their protest.
A tense situation prevailed at Bommanahalli in Rayadurga segment of Anantapur when police detained TD politburo member Kalava Srinivasulu and other party leaders.
In Nellore, TD leaders led by former mayor SK Abzul Aziz and Tirumala Naidu submitted a representation to a donkey at VR College Junction seeking reduction in price of fuels.
In Kakinada, TD MLA Nimmakayala China Rajappa took out a procession with cars being towed by bullock carts. Several other TD leaders and activists staged a series of protests in the Godavari and other districts of the state....