Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) leader and legislator R. K. Roja on Thursday faced the ire of farmers protesting against decentralisation of the state capital.
Farmers, most of them women, stopped the actor-turned-politician’s vehicle for more than an hour, raising slogans against her and demanding that Amaravati remain the only state capital.
Carrying placards, the protestors sat on the road and later surrounded her vehicle, demanding an apology for the comment that “paid artistes” were carrying out the protests over the capital.
Roja, who is also Chairperson of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), was returning from SRM University after attending a conference when the protestors blocked her way at Neerukonda.
The protestors told Roja that farmers who gave their lands are not “paid artistes”. Police had a tough time in controlling the protestors. Another vehicle was arranged to send her through an alternate route.
However, the farmers again stopped her car at Pedaparimi. The police personnel rushed to the spot and tried to disperse the protestors.
When the protestors came closer to Roja’s vehicle, policemen stood as a wall around the car to prevent any untoward incident.
Police pushed back the protestors and in the melee a woman fell unconscious and another sustained minor injury.
Police finally succeeded in clearing the way for the MLA, who later blamed Leader of Opposition and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu for the attack.
She told reporters that Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy is committed to the welfare of the farmers in Amaravati region. She said there was no question of neglecting Amaravati as it would be the legislative capital of the state where all the Bills would be framed.
“If the protests continue, no investor will come forward to set up an institution in Amaravati. The public should remain calm and maintain peace,” she said.
Farmers in Amaravati region have been protesting for more than two months against the YSRCP government’s move to develop Visakhapatnam and Kurnool as the two other state capitals.