Pawan Kalyan meets Naidu after Kuppam incident, discusses political developments in AP

Pawan Kalyan has now come out in support of the TDP chief. The Jana Sena president met Mr. Naidu to show his support against the GO passed by the YSRCP.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  8 Jan 2023 10:39 AM GMT
Pawan Kalyan meets Naidu after Kuppam incident, discusses political developments in AP

Hyderabad: Sunday saw an interesting political discussion among netizens after Jana Sena party president Pawan Kalyan met Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu at the latter's residence in Hyderabad on the morning of 8 January.

This is their second meeting. They first met in October 2022 when Mr. Naidu expressed solidarity on the hurdles created for Pawan Kalyan by the Andhra Pradesh government in Vizag.

Andhra Pradesh politics is now taking an interesting turn giving rise to many questions. The ruling YSRCP party passed GO1, restricting public meetings/roadshows after a stampede-like situation killed eight in Nellore during a TDP meeting. Soon after the GO was passed, Mr. Naidu got quite a hit from the Andhra Pradesh police who restricted his roadshow in Kuppam.

Following this, the TDP chief slammed the YSRCP government and questioned Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy on whether he does not have the right to meet voters in his home Assembly segment. Mr. Naidu also said he was ready to sacrifice even his life for the sake of the people.

Pawan Kalyan has now come out in support of the TDP chief. The Jana Sena president met Mr. Naidu to show his support against the GO passed by the YSRCP. "We discussed the political developments happening in the state and will soon come up with a joint strategy to counter the move by the ruling government. I will soon speak to the BJP on how to overcome such GOs issued by the YSRCP," Pawan Kalyan told the media after the meeting.

Addressing the media, Mr. Naidu said, "It is shocking to see 3,000 policemen trying to stop me from entering the Kuppam constituency. The police are booking fake cases against TDP activists. In the recent stampede situations, it is the responsibility of the police to maintain law and order." He said that the GOs are mainly passed to stop Nara Lokesh and Pawan Kalyan from conducting public meetings/roadshows in January.

Political tie-up brewing between TDP and JS

The second meeting of the two leaders indicates that the two parties are working together ahead of the 2024 elections. The duo discussed creating a common platform to fight against CM Y.S Jagan. Sources said the two leaders discussed the future plans and prepared a plan of action on the future of politics in Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking to the media, Pawan Kalyan said, "YSRCP is bringing out British-era GOs to suppress the Opposition. We will plan a strategy to fight against the newly-passed GO prohibiting public meetings/gatherings on roads and highways." He said the two leaders discussed the recent Kuppam incident and the irresponsible acts of the YSRCP government.

TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh will conduct a statewide 400-day padayatra on 27 January, while Pawan Kalyan will conduct a public meeting, 'Yuva Shakthi,' in Ranasthalam, Srikakulam district on 12 January. He will soon announce his statewide bus yatra.

The first meeting in October 2022

Pawan Kalyan, during his visit to Vizag in October 2022, was not allowed to hold a rally or Jana Vani meeting. While he was on his way to the hotel from the airport, the police got into his vehicle and asked him to stop his vehicle. Pawan Kalyan was issued a notice by the Visakhapatnam assistant commissioner of police (East), Harshita Chandra, after his supporters allegedly attacked ministers, civilians, and police officers at the local airport. He was forced to stay in the hotel room and leave the city immediately.

The situation sparked a political fire between the YSRCP and the two Opposition parties (TDP, Jana Sena). A few days after the incident, Mr. Naidu met Pawan Kalyan in Vijayawada to express his solidarity. This is when it looked like the state was set to see new political realignments.

Roadshow by TDP turned into a tragedy

On 28 December 2022, as a part of the ongoing 'Idhem Karma Mana Rastraniki' campaign, TDP chief N. Chandra Babu Naidu conducted a roadshow at Kandukur town in Nellore district. During the public meeting, a stampede-like situation occurred near the Gundamkatta open drainage canal and eight people died. Mr. Naidu immediately stopped his roadshow and visited the hospital to inquire about the injured people. He announced Rs. 10 lakhs financial assistance to the next of kin of the deceased and free education for the children of the deceased through NTR Trust.

A week later, three women died and about 13 were injured during another stampede-like situation in the Guntur district on 1 January at an event organised by Vuyyuru Foundation. The incident happened after a meeting by TDP national president N. Chandra Babu Naidu when the crowd gathered to get their Sankranti Kanuka. The Guntur police registered a case against Vuyyuru Srinivas Rao, the MD of Vuyyuru Foundation, and arrested him.

GO passed against roadshows/public meetings

Following the stampede-like situations, the Andhra Pradesh government issued a GO that prohibited public meetings/gatherings on roads and highways. Only in rare and exceptional circumstances can permission for public meetings be considered, with reasons recorded in writing.

The government order issued by the principal secretary (Home), Harish Kumar Gupta, said the right to conduct a public meeting on public roads and streets is a subject matter of regulation as Section 30 of the Police Act 1861 itself mandates. Mr. Gupta, in the GO, directed the police to identify "designated places" away from public roads for the conduct of public meetings which do not hamper the flow of traffic, public movement, emergency services, and movement of essential commodities.

Naidu's Kuppam visit

Soon after the GO was passed, Mr. Naidu was stopped from conducting a roadshow during his tour in Kuppam. Mr. Naidu staged a sit-in protest on the road near the bus station at Gudipalle mandal headquarters as police prevented him from going to the local party office. After the protest, Mr. Naidu climbed onto his vehicle and addressed the public, slamming Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for bringing in a government order (GO) prohibiting roadshows.

In the same incident, three FIRs were registered against TDP activists in Gollapalli, Pedduru, and Santhipuram in the Chittoor district for obstructing the duties of the police and injuring a police constable. The police also took the campaign vehicle and other vehicles carrying the sound system to the police station.

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