Angry mobs attacked the house of former Telugu Desam Minister G. Shaymsundar Shivaji who had strongly supported the establishment of power project near Baruva, besides burning the household articles of Sompeta MPTC member P.V. Ramana (Congress) on Thursday.
A day after the police firing, there was simmering tension in Sompeta, Kaviti, Kanchali and surrounding villages. Additional police forces were brought to Sompeta to restore normality in the town which observed bandh for the second consecutive day to protest the police firing. Although there were policemen all over the town, the attacks could not be prevented.
In fact, the protestors vented their ire on both leaders of Congress as well as the Opposition. They burnt an effigy of Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao accusing him of backing the thermal power project to the hilt. However, their main target was Mr. Shivaji, son of late Gouthu Latchanna, for his reported statement that the development was possible only with the establishment of the 2,640 MW power plant. As many as 60 police constables were deployed to protect his family.
The controversial project had caused a rift among the TD leaders over the past few months.
The lone TDP MLA P. Sairaj, representing Itchapuram, vehemently opposed the power plant though other TD leaders were indirectly supporting it.
He recently threatened to resign from the party alleging that other leaders were ‘conspiring' against him.
TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu and Polit Bureau member K. Yerran Naidu faced the anger of locals when they visited Lakkavaram and Palasapuram to console the victims on Thursday. They had a tough time when agitators raised slogans against Mr. Shivaji.
However, Mr. Naidu cleared the air by declaring at a public meeting that his party was totally opposed to the establishment of the power plant.
Mr. Yerran Naidu tried in vain to pacify the villagers before the arrival of Mr. Chandrababu Naidu. “We have been protesting the plant for the last one year. He said NTPC project in Visakhapatnam district was constructed during TD regime only with the consent of public.”