Visakhapatnam: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) General Secretary Nara Lokesh was arrested by police in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district when he was on his way to Palasa town to meet a party leader amid growing tension between his party and the ruling YSRCP.
As police stopped Lokesh’s convoy on Srikakulam road, he raised an objection to the police action, leading to a heated argument between him and the police officers. “Am I a terrorist,” asked Lokesh, son of TDP President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Lokesh insisted that as a member of Legislative Council, he has a right to visit any part of the state and know the problems of people. He was angry over a police officer for allegedly pushing him.
Along with TDP leaders Kala Venkat Rao, Chinna Rajappa, Lakshmi Devi and party supporters, he sat on the road to stage a protest against what they called highhandedness of police.
Police detained Lokesh and took him to Visakhapatnam where he was let off.
TDP state President Atchan Naidu and MP Ram Mohan Naidu were also arrested by the police when they were trying to head towards Palasa.
Later, when Lokesh was addressing a press conference in Visakhapatnam, police stopped him saying there was no permission for the same. Police officers told him that since he was served notice under Section 151, he can’t be permitted to address the press conference.
The police action again led to a heated argument between the two sides. Lokesh questioned the police for not allowing the press conference when there were no law and order problems.
Amid the tension, police tried to disperse TDP leaders. There was pushing and jostling between the TDP leaders and police. Protesting against the police’s attitude, Lokesh staged a sit-in at Visakhapatnam Airport.
Lokesh wanted to know why the YSRCP government was scared of his visit to call on a party leader and Municipal Councillor Suryanarayana.
An attempt by the municipal authorities to demolish the house of Suryanarayana and others late on Thursday night had triggered tension in Palasa town. This had led to a clash between local leaders of the YSRCP and the TDP.
The TDP alleged that Animal Husbandry Minister S. Appalarju was trying to target its leaders and workers.
Meanwhile, the YSRCP took strong exception to certain personal remarks made by TDP leader Goutu Sirisha against the minister. Demanding that she tender an apology to the minister, they threatened to lay siege to the TDP office.
Sirisha had dared the YSRCP leaders to lay siege. She had called up on party leaders and workers to gather at the party office.
Amid the tension between the two parties, Lokesh was stopped from visiting Palakonda. Srikakulam Superintendent of Police G.R. Radhika said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code have been imposed in the twin towns of Palasa and Kasibugga. She said there was no permission for any rallies and meetings.