VISAKHAPATNAM: The ruling YSRC leaders are strategizing to counter the padayatra launched by Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi on Monday. The two-month Yatra program is supported by Telugu Desam, BJP, Jana Sena and CPIM and CPI.
Industry and IT Minister Gudivada Amarnath held a meeting with senior party brass in Visakhapatnam on Monday and discussed ways to steer farmers away from the opposition-inspired offensive against the government .
Since Visakhapatnam is the focal point as it is tipped to be the capital and since the farmers of Amaravati oppose it, the YSRC leaders are doubly vigilant against the impact of the Yatra.
“We will campaign vigorously for the three capitals and expect support from all sections of society,” Amarnath told DC Monday shortly after the leaders’ meeting.
He said a clear picture of their counter-program would emerge next week. The padayatra is expected to reach Anakapalli by the end of October.
Sources within the party said the minister would meet with the vice chancellor of Andhra University to recruit teachers and students for the campaign in support of the three capitals plan and to oppose padayatra.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Seedari Appalaraju said the government would not be responsible if people confront padayatra directly. “It is too early to predict what the scenario will be when the padayatra reaches Srikakulam,” he said.
“We don’t expect any resistance from members of the ruling party. The high court has given permission to hold the rally and it will be peaceful. If the ruling party engages in violence, it would be counterproductive,” said TD Vice President Pasarla Prasad.
CITU President Narsinga Rao said farmers had every right to take out a padayatra to solve their problems. The state government will be responsible if a problem has been created in this context, he said.
Jana Sena leader and GVMC corporator Murthy Yadav said his party expected trouble in Payakaraopeta in Anakapalli district.