How can you arrest oxen, asks Lokesh after TDP protest was foiled
A unique 'Chalo Assembly' protest called by the Telugu Rythu, the farmers' wing of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), caused commotion
AMARAVATI: A unique 'Chalo Assembly' protest called by the Telugu Rythu, the farmers' wing of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), caused commotion here on Monday. The protest, featuring bullock carts, saw the participation of TDP MLAs and MLCs to resent what they alleged as anti-farmer policies of the YS Jaganmohan Reddy Government. Tension prevailed for a while when the police foiled the bullock cart protest, heading towards the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
Trouble started when the TDP legislators and leaders, led by Nara Lokesh, tried to break the police cordon with the bullock carts. The police, citing the prohibitory orders in place against rallies surrounding the Assembly till the end of the session, stalled their march and requested them to retreat. But defying the prohibitory curbs, the TDP protesters tried to push the policemen backwards prompting the latter to foil the forward movement of the protesters. The police later shifted the bullock carts and even the oxen used to pull them, to the traffic police station.
At this juncture, Lokesh picked up an argument with the police wondering how even the oxen could be arrested for taking part in the protest. Despite the police action, the TDP leaders were unrelenting and in a swift move, they pushed the carts out of the police station to resume their protest. With the police exercising restraint, the TDP leaders kept pushing the police cordon backwards and pulling the carts on their shoulders.
Besides Lokesh, Atchen Naidu, Rama Naidu and China Rajappa were among the MLAs and MLCs who took part in the protest. Speaking after their protest, the TDP leaders alleged that the farmer, who provided the oxen and the carts for their protest, was severely beaten up by the police and demanded action against them. They squarely blamed the policies of the YS Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSRCP government for the declaration of crop holiday in the state.
Claiming that the farming sector had been in crisis in the state over the last three years, they alleged that farmers were being given a raw deal by the Chief Minister and his coterie of leaders.