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Telugu Desam Party president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu launched a day-long fast at his riverfront residence at Vundavalli in Amaravati on Wednesday, when the police prevented him from taking out a “Chalo Palnadu” rally in Guntur district.

Though the police did not claim that they were confining Naidu to house arrest, they told him that there was no permission for him to take out a rally. An agitated Naidu sat on a protest dharna at his house.

The police also stopped the former chief minister’s son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, who came out of his house along with other party leaders, to take part in the rally. They sent him back into the house.

The TDP president gave a call for a rally to Atmakur village in Palnadu region of Guntur to express solidarity with the people who were allegedly attacked and hounded out of their villages allegedly by ruling YSR Congress party leaders in the last few days for supporting the TDP.

As many as 127 families have been given shelter at a “rehabilitation centre” set up by the TDP at the state headquarters in Guntur town for the last one week.

The police resorted to house arrest of several TDP leaders, including MLAs and MPs, as a preventive measure. Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani, former minister Gollapalli Surya Rao, TDP youth wing president Devineni Avinash, MLC Dinesh Reddy and several others were taken into custody at the Prakasam Barrage connecting Vijayawada and Guntur.

Naidu asked the party leaders and cadres to take up day-long fast in their respective areas across the state in protest against the highhanded attitude of the police at the behest of the ruling YSR Congress party.

“It is a black day in the history of the state. We have been denied the right to give moral support to those who were victimized by the ruling party cadres. All that we wanted to do was to take out a rally and send the victims back to their villages. I don’t understand how it would lead to law and order breakdown,” Naidu said.

Director General of Police Gautam Sawang already declared that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC had been imposed in Palnadu region and there was no question of allowing any rallies, meetings and demonstrations in the region as it might lead to law and order breakdown.

Meanwhile, the YSR Congress party leaders also sought the police permission to take out a counter rally from Guntur to Atmakur to express their solidarity with the villagers who had faced torture and harassment during the TDP regime. The police did not give them permission.
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