Vizianagaram (AP): Telugu Desam Party president and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday staged a dharna in front of the District Collectorate here seeking crackdown on the liquor mafia even as the ruling Congress workers and the police tried to prevent him.
Vizianagaram being the home district of AP Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana, Congress workers were bent on staging a counter dharna and gathered in large number even as police imposed prohibitory orders to avert a possible law and order breakdown and denied permission to both parties for their agitation programmes.
Chandrababu Naidu reached Vizianagaram by road from Visakhapatnam, ignoring the prohibitory orders. He went to the district TDP office and from there started off in a procession towards the Collectorate but was blocked near the District Police Office and prevented from proceeding further for over two hours.
Congress workers, led by state Registrations and Stamps Minister Thota Narasimham and a couple of local MLAs, sat on a protest near the Collectorate deploring the TDP’s show.
Chandrababu staged a sit-in outside the DPO condemning the police “over-action” even as the TDP workers were pushed away by police personnel on duty. TDP politburo member and former minister P Ashoka Gajapati Raju collapsed in the melee.
Meanwhile, the PCC president alleged that Naidu visited Vizianagaram only to gain political mileage.
“Naidu is trying to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in Vizianagaram district by comparing it with Pakistan. He is abusing officials for doing their duty and trying to blackmail them. If any untoward incident happens there, only TDP and Naidu will be responsible for it,” he told reporters in Hyderabad.
Referring to the allegations of corruption over his involvement in liquor business, Satyanaryana said he would bow his head in shame if the TDP could prove that he is guilty.
Asked why Congress had to undertake a ‘dharna’ despite being the ruling party, he claimed that Congress workers only tried to express their protest against the “politics of Naidu”.
He has instructed the Congressmen to disperse peacefully with discipline as they have already organised their protest, the PCC president added. (PTI)