Andhra Pradesh

Tension as YSRCP workers block Chandrababu Naidu at Visakhapatnam Airport

YSRCP workers protesting outside the airport after the arrival of TDP president Chandrababu Naidu in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

YSRCP workers protesting outside the airport after the arrival of TDP president Chandrababu Naidu in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

The former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is scheduled to hold a meeting with farmers at Pendurthi and in Vizianagaram later in the day

Tense situation continues to prevail at Visakhapatnam Airport on Thursday, as a large number of leaders and workers belonging to the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) prevented Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu from going to Pinagadi village in Pendurthi mandal in Viskhapatnam district.

The former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is scheduled to hold a meeting with farmers at Pendurthi and in Vizianagaram later in the day.

The YSRCP leaders and workers tried to hurl eggs and tomatoes at Mr. Naidu’s convoy. Earlier, a similar protest was directed at former TDP Minister K. Atchannaidu’s vehicle.

Early in the morning, a large number of TDP and YSRCP workers and leaders had assembled at the airport.

Mr. Naidu reached Visakhapatnam Airport around 11.30 a.m and his vehicle was stuck on the road inside the airport till the last reports came at 1 p.m.

Though a large number of policemen, including senior police officers, were at the airport and tight security was arranged all along the route from the airport to Pinagadi, they could not prevent the protesters from reaching the airport.

YSRCP supporters carrying banners and placards ‘Uttarandhra Drohi Chandrababu’ and ‘Go Back Babu’ staged protests near the airport. TDP workers were seen pushing back the YSRCP groups from making their way to the airport terminal building. Many YSRCP and TDP workers were seen engaged in heated arguments.

A supporter for 'Visakhapatnam as Capital' tries to immolate himself as YSRCP workers protest outside the airport before the arrival of TDP president Chandrababu Naidu in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

A supporter for 'Visakhapatnam as Capital' tries to immolate himself as YSRCP workers protest outside the airport before the arrival of TDP president Chandrababu Naidu in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

TDP senior party members, including N. Chinarajappa, K. Atchannaidu, reached the airport to receive Mr. Naidu. Vehicles of TDP South (MLA) Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar and MLA (East) V. Ramakrishna Babu were stopped near the airport and eggs and tomatoes were hurled. The vehicle of Mr. Babu was also damaged by some unidentified miscreants.

At one stage, Mr. Naidu jumped out of the car and tried to walk his way to the main road, but was prevented by his securitymen and the police.

TDP men alleged that it was the failure of the police department and they had intentionally allowed YSRCP members to block Mr. Naidu’s convoy.

TDP leader M. Sribharat asked how the police department allowed such huge number of YSRCP activists to enter the airport premises. He also said that though protesters were blocking the convoy, the policemen were not trying to clear the way.

Alleging that the protesters were “paid artists”, TDP leader Nakka Anand Babu said that the government, local MLAs and police had planned to thwart the party chief’s meeting with the farmers.

It is learnt that a huge number of TDP and YSRC activists have gathered at the meeting place in Pinagadi and Pendurthi MLA and YSRC leader A. Adeep Raj was detained at his home to avoid any untoward incident.

Passengers at the airport faced a lot of inconvenience and had to wait for about an hour before the police and CISF officials could route them out through another gate.

People commuting on the Gajuwaka-NAD stretch also had to bear the brunt, as the blockade led to huge traffic jam.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:32:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tension-as-ysrcp-workers-block-chandrababu-naidu-at-visakhapatnam-airport/article30929957.ece

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