Several students of Andhra University in Visakhapatnam protested on campus on Thursday, over a remark made by TDP MLC and Gitam University President MVVS Murthy.
According to report in the Times of India, Murthy was launching the poster for the TDP’s ‘Mahanadu’, an annual party meeting, at this house, when he said that the university had become ‘a devils den’.
This came even as a petition was pending in the Hyderabad High Court, challenging the permission given to the TDP, for conducting the Mahanadu from May 27 to 29.
While the petitioner contended that the University should not allot space for political meetings, Andhra’s Advocate General pointed out earlier instances of similar meetings by other parties, on the campus.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Murthy also said that the TDP was paying money and giving the hostels and several parts of the university a facelift.
He also said that the event was being hosted during the summer vacations, and would not be an inconvenience for the students.
Following this, Murthy made the ‘devil’s den’ remark, which drew condemnation from several people and parties, including state HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao.
Meanwhile, city Police Commissioner T Yoganand addressed the media on Thursday.
Stating that 2,000 additional forces would be deployed for providing security to the VIPs and regulating the traffic, he asked for cooperation from all residents.
“We are making high-level security arrangements for the mega event and I am confident that the Mahanadu will pass off peacefully…We are making alternative arrangements to clear the traffic snarls. We are deploying more staff for traffic regulation duty from Saturday. We also directed our traffic wing to work extra time, if needed,” the Commissioner was quoted as saying.
The Mahanadu in Andhra comes close on the heels of a Mahanadu hosted by the Telangana unit of the TDP, which was also attended by Andhra Chief Minister and party chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
Despite the crisis faced by the TDP in Telangana due to many top leaders and legislators switching loyalties to ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) over last three years, Naidu flew down to Hyderabad to address party’s annual conclave to boost the morale of the party cadre.
“I am more indebted to TDP workers than to my family members,” said Naidu.
He recalled that N. T. Rama Rao floated the party for the self-respect of Telugu people, and also reiterated that he had developed Hyderabad when he was the chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh.