The ruling TDP and the opposition YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh on Monday blamed each other for the violence in Tuni town during a protest by the Kapu community. While the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) held the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) responsible for the Sunday violence, the latter said the ruling party had hatched a conspiracy to defame the opposition.
Deputy Chief Minister N. Chinarajappa, who also holds the home portfolio, and Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana also targeted Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham, who had given a call for blocking rail and road traffic during a public meeting at Tuni in East Godavari district.
The protesters set fire to a train, two police stations and 25 vehicles. Fifteen policemen and four railway employees were injured in different incidents. Chinna rajappa said the violence was a conspiracy hatched by Padmanabham and YSRCP leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy against the Chandrababu Naidu government. The two ministers said Padmanabham had instigated over a lakh people who gathered for the public meeting.
Earlier, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu termed the violence pre-planned and said “outsiders" were involved. “A criminal is behind this violence," he told reporters in Vijayawada on Sunday night in an indirect reference to the leader of the opposition, Jaganmohan Reddy.
The YSRCP chief on Monday hit back at Naidu, describing him as “criminal number one" and alleged that the chief minister was trying to create hatred between the Kapus and the backward classes. Jagan mohan said the TDP indulged in violence as it was afraid that a huge response to the public meeting will make the Kapu community and the opposition parties more popular.
Jagan said that the Kapus, irrespective of their political affiliation, held the meeting to demand that the TDP fulfil its election promise to provide backward class status to the community. The YSR Congress leader said the Kapus were agitated because Naidu betrayed them by going back on the promise. He said hurdles by the government on holding the public meeting through restrictions further agitated the community.
The state ministers, however, said the government was working sincerely to implement the election promise. They pointed out that a commission had been appointed to finalise the guidelines for including Kapus in the backward classes. They said Padmanabham should wait for nine months for the commission to submit its report.