Even as the police managed to contain the RK Beach protests in Visakhapatnam seeking Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh, opposition leader of the state YS Jaganmohan Reddy sat on a dramatic dharna at the airside area of the Vizag airport near the runway.
Reddy had flown in from Hyderabad to Vizag on a SpiceJet flight on Thursday afternoon to hold a ‘Silent Protest’ and candlelight vigil at the beach, however the police refused to allow him into the city. Reddy, along with his supporters, then sat on a dharna at the airport airside near the flight parking bays.
Sakshi TV, the mouthpiece of his party the YSRCP, beamed visuals of his dharna.
Jagan said, “Why have you brought us here and not taken us to the arrival lounge? What do you want to do? You have no right to do this.”
He also added, “The state police are not allowed into the runway. How can you just stop us like this? You have kidnapped two people. One of them is a Lok Sabha member. This is not acceptable.”
He was accompanied by the party senior leader, Rajya Sabha Member V. Vijayasai Reddy, YV Subba Reddy, Ambati Rambabu
At one point, YSRCP leader Ambati Rambabu said to the police, “Are you a henchman for Naidu? You can’t stop us from entering. We have every right.”
Another MLA with YSRCP, Giddi Eswari, who was outside the airport said, “Jaganmohan Reddy has never shrugged off his duties and has always been concerned for the people’s issues. When he came to meet the people of Vizag, he was denied entry. As an opposition leader, he has the right to protest. We question this cruelty of the Chandrababu Naidu government.”
Jagan also got into a tiff with one of the police officials after one of them did not have an identity card and was not in uniform. While the officials claimed that he was a policeman, one of Jagan’s supporters said, “Is he Naidu’s man that you brought with you?”
The YSRCP had announced a candlelight vigil at the RK Beach after protests had gathered steam there for the past couple of days. This morning, police foiled the attempt of several youngsters to come together to hold a march at the beach.
Later in the evening, YSRC members held candles and chanted slogans against the CM at the airport, Jagan leading them. Candlelight protests were also held in other parts of the state.