Cadres belonging to the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party, the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh, allegedly ransacked the headquarters of the Telugu Desam Party at Mangalagiri town in Guntur district and its offices in other places on Tuesday, reported PTI.
The attacks took place after TDP spokesperson K Pattabhi Ram spoke against Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Earlier in the day, Ram had criticised the ruling government for the alleged lawlessness in the state. He had alleged that cultivation and smuggling of marijuana was rampant in the state and that young people were becoming slaves to drugs.
The former minister said the “over-zealous” police who had travelled a long distance to serve a notice to TDP leader Ananda Babu on Monday, reported The Hindu. “Despite such swift police teams, cases of rapes and attacks on Dalits are on the rise in the state,” he had said.
On Tuesday, videos shared on social media showed assailants ransacking Ram’s home.
Director General of Police Gautam Sawang told PTI there were “sporadic reactions” across the state to Ram’s comments. He appealed to people not to disrupt law and order, and urged leaders of political parties to refrain from making derogatory comments.
“We will take strict action against attackers and also on those making provocative speeches,” Sawang’s office said, reported ANI. “Additional forces have been deployed across the state.”
TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu alleged that there was a complete breakdown of law and order in Andhra Pradesh under the YSR Congress’ regime, the Hindustan Times reported. He sought President’s Rule in the state, and called for a complete shutdown on Wednesday to protest against incidents of vandalism by YSRCP leaders.
He described the incidents as state-sponsored terrorism and accused police chief Sawang of having colluded with the chief minister.
The TDP’s Andhra Pradesh chief Kinjarapu Atchannaidu said that Reddy should resign as the chief minister for failing to control law and order, The News Minute reported.
“We don’t understand whether we are living in a democratic country or a fascist country,” he said. [The] Chief minister and [the] DGP should take the responsibility [for these attacks].”