Programme held at the behest of Karunakar Reddy at ‘Indira Maidanam’

Resenting the bifurcation move, farmers under the banner of YSR Congress ploughed the Indira Maidanam in the heart of the city on Monday. After that, the ploughs were burnt by the leaders. The incident raised the hackles of both the TUDA authorities as well as farmers.

The message sought to be conveyed by the party’s central committee member and local MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, who led the programme, was that the region would be permanently rendered a desert in the absence of irrigation sources post-bifurcation and that the farmers would have no role to play in future. The ‘consigning of the ploughs to flames’ was a metaphor to signing off from farming.

‘Indira Maidanam’, an open air auditorium belonging to the Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA), is generally used for conducting cultural events, spiritual discourses and public meetings.

At the much-touted jamboree, the politicians suddenly dug up the ground which was already wet due to the torrential rains.

In fact, the venue has been allotted to cracker sellers who are expected to open outlets on Tuesday, to be run till Deepavali. With the incessant rain already feared to dampen their plans, the cracker sellers are now required to pay through their nose to level the ground.

Some farmers expressed anguish at the burning of the ploughs, calling it an ‘inauspicious’ act. “We performed ‘Dasara puja’ to our ploughs recently and this development is uncalled for,” said an educated farmer who did not want to be named.

“The farmers of the parched Chittoor district are already in the lurch and hence the bifurcation will hardly wreak any greater havoc,” Mangati Gopal Reddy, a senior Congress leader and a cane grower, told The Hindu.

Though the TUDA authorities are furious, they are tight-lipped over the development, as it was at the behest of the legislator that the damage was done. Interestingly, Mr. Karunakar Reddy had served as the chairman of the TUDA in the past.