Amaravati: Arson broke out in Amalapuram town in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday when police resorted to lathi-charge at people who staged a protest against the proposed renaming of the newly-created Konaseema district as B R Ambedkar Konaseema district. A number of police personnel were left injured and the protestors opposed to the name change allegedly set the houses of state minister P Viswarup and a ruling YSR Congress MLA P Satish on fire.
While the ruling party blamed unnamed forces behind the arson, all opposition parties hit out at the Jagan Mohan Reddy government over its “gross failure” in controlling the situation.
Principal opposition Telugu Desam Party, BJP, Jana Sena and the Congress hit out at the government over its gross failure in controlling the Amalapuram situation.
“The arson in Konaseema, known for its peace, is unfortunate. The Home Minister made baseless allegations on a delicate issue. This is completely a failure of the government and the police,” Telugu Desam chief N Chandrababu Naidu said in a statement.
Jana Sena chief K Pawan Kalyan lashed out at the Home Minister for blaming the opposition parties over the Amalapuram incidents.
“It is nothing but an effort to cover up the government’s failure in maintaining law and order. The ruling party is only seeking to push the blame on to the opposition to cover its failures,” Kalyan said.
State BJP president Somu Veerraju strongly condemned the incidents and blamed the government for failing to ensure peace.
“The government should take responsibility for its failure to maintain peace in Konaseema,” he added.
State Congress president Sake Sailajanath too blamed the government over this.
Former Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy, too, found fault with the police. “Instead of blaming I can say it is failure of police. (When I was) DGP of combined AP, such incidents were never allowed to boomerang on this scale,” Dinesh Reddy said in a social media post.
He recalled that he worked as SP of the erstwhile East Godavari district for a long period and people of Konaseema were found to be peace-loving. “I am shocked at the turn of events,” he added.
On April 4, the new Konaseema district was carved out of the erstwhile East Godavari.
Last week, the state government issued a preliminary notification seeking to rename Konaseema as B R Ambedkar Konaseema district and invited objections, if any, from the people.
Viswarup said the proposal to rename the new district was based on the demand raised by all political parties.
In this backdrop, the Konaseema Sadhana Samiti objected to the proposed renaming of the district and wanted the name Konaseema retained.
The Samiti organised a protest on Tuesday and sought to submit a memorandum to the district Collector Himanshu Shukla against the renaming.
Police tried to foil the protest, which apparently infuriated the protestors and eventually all hell broke loose in the otherwise quiet town.