TIRUPATI: TDP president and Opposition Leader N Chandrababu Naidu was not allowed to stage a protest in Tirupati as he had no permission to do so, clarified Tirupati Urban Superintendent of Police Ch Venkata Appala Naidu on Monday.
Addressing the media, he stated that Chandrababu was informed about this yesterday itself but he paid no heed and arrived at the airport, which is why the police had to detain him there, the SP explained. As the Model Code of Conduct was in force the police had to stop him at the airport lounge. The senior TDP leader got into an argument with the police officials and created a ruckus there. He said down on the floor and refused to listen to the police officials who tried requesting him to leave.
Chandrababu Naidu arrived at the Tirupati Renigunta airport from Hyderabad to participate in a protest rally in Tirupati. Notices were already issued that he was not allowed to stage any protest as the State police denied the last minute online request on February 28.
However, Chandrababu chose not to listen and landed at Tirupati. He was scheduled to attend two protest dharnas one at Gandhi Circle in Chittoor and one at Gandhi statue in Tirupati.
The SP said that if permission was given to conduct the dharna at the Gandhi Statue, which is very close to the APSRTC bus station, it would pose a great risk as there was a likelihood of COVID-19 second wave in the place. This apart, the protest would cause great inconvenience to the pilgrims visiting the place and the traffic flow. This apart the model code of conduct was already in place the SP said. He also said that there was no permission to mobilize masses for the protest as it was against the COVID regulations.
Similarly, Chittoor SP Senthil Kumar said that dharnas and rallies were against the election code and COVID rules. This is why Chandrababu Naidu was not given permission for the dharna at Chittoor. He said a letter was given by the TDP at the last minute that they were going to stage a protest with 5,000 people in the heart of the town and asked for permission.
Senthil Kumar said that even as the police denied permission, a few TDP leaders tried to stage protests but some of them were detained at home as a pre-emptive measure and some were taken into preventive custody.