Vizianagaram: Kicking up another political controversy in Andhra Pradesh, the Vizianagaram district administration on Saturday demolished the historic and pre-independence era Three Lanterns Pillar, a popular landmark in the Fort Town Vizianagaram of Andhra Pradesh.
Though the district administration claimed that they demolished the structure as part of development work and will reinstate it, the leaders and activists of Telugu Desam Party ( TDP) cried foul saying it is an effort to remove the contributions of the family of former Union minister and party leader P Ashok Gajapathi Raju to the region.
The pillar with three lions on each side was constructed at the junction of three major roads in Vizianagaram by the Pusapati dynasty in 1890. The lanterns used to be lit up on the three sides of the pillar to give directions to bullocks in the nights in those days.
Now the lanterns were not used as with the advent of street lights. But the Three Lanterns Pillar become a landmark in the Vizianagaram Town.
N Ravi, a 80- year-old man and native of Vizianagaram Town said that the demolition of the Three Lanterns Pillar is nothing but demolition of the great history of Vizianagaram.
On the other side, the demolition took a political turn as netizens have started criticizing the YS Jaganmohan Reddy's government.
Condemning the incident, TDP chief and Opposition leader N Chandrababiui Naidu tweeted on Saturday, "Shocked to see @ysjagan demolish the historic ‘Three Lanterns Pillar’ in the heart of Vizianagaram. This is one of the many deliberate efforts to erase the contributions of Sri @Ashok_Gajapathi ’s family to the region. Petty politics must never take precedence over history!"
Pusapati dynasty heir and former MP from Vizianagaram parliamentary constituency Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the demolition of the historic statue was unethical and hurts the sentiments of the people of Vizianagaram. He also requested the residents of Vizianagaram to raise voice against the unethical practices of YSR Congress government.