Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu was on Monday arrested and shifted to Gosha Mahal police station after he refused to relent and call off his protest demanding release of his party MLAs who were arrested earlier in the day.
Central Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police Akun Sabharwal placed Mr Naidu under arrest after attempts to pacify the TDP chief and get him to call of his dharna went in vain.
Mr Naidu was demanding the release of his party MLAs who had been arrested while protesting the arrest of farmers’ leaders in front of the Assembly.
The entire episode began when farmers’ leaders came to the Assembly and demanded that they be allowed to meet Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and submit a memorandum highlighting the issues they were facing, particularly in regards to the recent heavy rains in Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The Chief Minister expressed his inability to meet the farmers’ leaders since the House was in Session. The farmers’ leader then resorted to a protest, demanded that the meeting take place. Meanwhile, the police arrested the farmers’ leaders and shifted them to the Gosha Mahal police station.
The TDP MLAs rushed to the aid of the farmers’ leaders and started their own slogan shouting, demanding the police release the arrested leaders. Even as the slogan shouting continued, the police, sensing trouble brewing, arrested the TDP MLAs and shifted them to the police station.
Mr Naidu, on learning the arrest of his party Legislators, came out of the Assembly and staged his own dharna demanding the release of the farmers’ leaders and his party MLAs. He squatted on the road, demanded an apology and the immediate releases of those arrested.
Traffic in front of the state Assembly was brought to a grinding halt as Mr Naidu refused to relent until the MLAs were released.
Meanwhile, the police released the farmers’ leaders, who made their way to Mr Naidu’s side and joined the protest.
Slamming the inefficiency of government, Mr Naidu said that he would intensify his agitation against the anti-farmer government until it addresses their problems.
Instead of extending help to the distressed farmers, the government resorting arrests and adopting anti-farmer policies, he stated.
The former chief minister said that he would take help from like-minded parties to mount pressure on the government to redress woes of farmers.
Earlier, the Opposition leader took out Padayatra from Ambedkar statue on Tank Bund to Assembly demanding discussion on farmers’ problems.
The police then took Mr Naidu into custody and shifted him to the police station.