Integrationists have showdown with TDP, Congress leaders

The Samaikhyandhra protests witnessed a showdown between the integrationists and the Congress and the TDP leaders at different places in West Godavari district on Monday.

The gesture of expressing solidarity by the TDP MLA Chaintamaneni Prabhakar from Denduluru to the protesters on a fast turned out to be a clash with the members of the Teacher JAC. The MLA was greeted with ‘go back’ slogans from the integrationists when he reached the camp to extend support to the agitation. The Teacher JAC activists led by its Chairman M. Venkateswara Rao wanted the TDP MLA to resign from his party membership as a pre-condition for his participation in the Samaikhyandhra agitation. They were highly critical of the TDP’s ‘ambiguous’ stand on the question of the unity of the State. In a bid to come to the rescue of their leader, the followers of the MLA got into heated arguments with the JAC members, leading to tense moments. Mr. Prabhakar maintained that he had put in his papers for the MLA post and it was for the Assembly speaker to approve it. He asserted that he has got every right to take part in the Samaikhyandhra movement and that the JAC members had no right to prevent him from defending the State against the threat of bifurcation.

For the Samaikhynahdra protesters at Akiveedu, it was a clash with the Congress workers. Display of a vinyl allegedly depicting local MP and TTD Chairman Kanumuri Bapi Raju in an ‘objectionable’ form, drew the ire of Congress workers. Led by District Central Cooperative Bank (DCCB) Chairperson Mutyala Venkateswara Rao (Ratnam), the Congress functionaries staged a demonstration demanding removal of the vinyl, leading to a confrontation with the integrationists. The Congress workers with their mouths covered by a piece of cloth, staged a protest saying they were denied freedom of expression by their party high command while deciding on the fate of the State.

Rally with dogs

TDP MLA V. Sivarama Raju conducted a rally with dogs in the forefront at Undi in a bid to convey the message that the leaders needed to be loyal to the people. The protesters organised a boat rally for a distance of 20 km in the Godavari main canal from Vijjeswaram to Settipet. The farmers from East and West Godavari districts held ‘Rytu Garjana’ by squatting on the Kovvuru-Rajahmundry rail-cum-road bridge. The road traffic was disrupted for well over three hours because of the protest.