Ministers Danam Nagender and Mukesh Goud launched the Racha Banda programme amidst heavy police security in Hyderabad on Monday even as pro-Telangana protestors sought to disrupt the event.
The pro-Telangana protestors, spurred by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, have been demanding that the programme should take a backseat and the introduction of a separate statehood Bill in the Budget Session of Parliament should be given prominence.
The programme is designed to enable the public to contact the administration directly and get their long-pending problems solved. The TRS, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Telangana Telugu Desam Party Forum have all called for a boycott of the programme.
The opposition to the Racha Banda in the city prompted both the Ministers Mr Nagender and Mr Mukesh Goud, to warn the TRS that it should change its stance and work with the government. The Ministers also warned the TRS that they may take the fight to the TRS headquarters, the Telangana Bhavan, if the party continues its opposition to the programme.
The unsavoury events prompted Mr Nagender to say, “We will not be mute spectators to the ‘goondaism’, we will take the fight to the Telangana Bhavan and overrun it.”
However, opposition to the prestigious programme was not limited to the city.
In Warangal, the pro-Telangana agitators prevented Backward Classes Welfare Minister B Saraiah, MP Rajaiah and the officials from the district from conducting the programme by pelting stones on his convoy and forcing him to turn back.
They effectively forced the cancellation of the programme, launched at Desaipet village, midway. Mr Saraiah was seen keen to calm down the anger of the protestors by trying to reason with them. He said that he was in full support for a separate Telangana.
Mr Saraiah said, “this programme is meant for people so it should not be disrupted.” It may be mentioned here that the Ministers convoy was also attacked on Sunday at Kazipet.
Infrastructure Minister Komsatireddy Venkat Reddy too faced the wrath of Telangana protestors at Basara in Adilabad district where the programme was disrupted by slogan shouting agitators. The protestors managed to fling the chairs and kick out the poles of the tent erected for the conducting of the programme, leaving the venue looking as if hit by a tornado.
The scene was similar in Mahabubnagar where Minister for Information DK Aruna’s attempt to get the programme on its way was derailed.
Minister Sridhar Babu too faced the irate protestors in Karimnagar district.
Reports of the TRS activists disrupting the programme also came in from Nalgonda, Karimnagar and Nizamabad. The activists at many places blocked the government functionaries and the Legislators from reaching too by squatting on the roads. The protestors also managed to use tree branches and boulders to block the roads.
The police personnel were too kept on their toes at almost all the venues, chasing away the protestors to ensure that the programme went ahead. The protestors however pressed on with their agitations, keeping the policemen on their toes.
The lathis of the policemen were effectively combated with the stones, slippers, and rotten vegetables used as weapons by the protestors.
The police at many places arrested the protestors.