Samaikhyandhra agitation takes a violent turn in Tirupati

The ongoing Samaikyandhra agitation took a violent turn on Saturday with the supporters of the movement laying siege to the vehicle of senior Congress leader and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) V. Hanumantha Rao, at Alipiri in Tirupati.

The agitating supporters hurled footwear at the vehicle and raised slogans against bifurcation of the State.

The activists who stopped the vehicle in which Mr. Rao was travelling demanded an unconditional apology for his provocative remarks which he had allegedly made against the Seemandhra employees working in the capital city of Hyderabad.

The agitators had actually planned to present roses to the MP seeking his support for a unified State.

But the offensive remarks allegedly made by him at Tirumala which went on air since morning appeared to have irked the supporters, resulting in the attack. Police also resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse the mob.

Later, they escorted Mr. Rao to Renigunta airport from where he flew back to Hyderabad.

Speaking to media persons after offering prayers at the hill temple of Lord Venkateswara, Mr. Rao reportedly made observations against Seemandhra employees working in Hyderabad and the alleged discrimination to Telangana employees during the past sixty years.

Criticising Y.S. Vijayamma’s proposed ‘Samara Deeksha’ (indefinite fast) in Vijayawada from August 19 in support of united Andhra Pradesh, he said, in fact, it was former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy who had revived the separate Telangana issue by sending a representation to party high command securing the signatures of the MLAs in the region.

Venting his anger at the ongoing Samaikyandhra movement which entered 19th day on Saturday, he alleged that some of his own partymen were behind it.

The Seemandhra students Joint Action Committee gave a call for bandh on Sunday in protest against the “high-handed” behaviour of the police.

Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumantha Rao alleged that the YSR Congress was behind the attack on his vehicle at Tirupati.

Talking to reporters here on his return from Tirupati, Mr. Rao said while some TDP leaders were trying to present him flowers as a mark of protest, a few YSR Congress workers targeted his vehicle. He said no one should make provocative statements.