The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday issued a notice to former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to vacate his house located on the banks of Krishna river in Amaravati’s Undavalli village. The government also issued notices to 38 other properties, including those of a former parliamentarian and an NGO, The Hindu reported.
However, the matter has taken a political colour as Naidu’s supporters claim that this is the latest method used by the YSR Jaganmohan Reddy-led government to harass the Telugu Desam Party chief.
“Notices were served to all the property owners and tenants in 39 buildings as per the flood manual,” Guntur Collector I Samuel Anand Kumar told The Hindu. “As a precautionary measure, they were only asked to move to safer places temporarily as the flood level was increasing.”
The notices were sent because of an alarming rise in the Krishna river water level due to huge inflows from upstream. The inflows into the river at Prakasam Barrage connecting Vijayawada and Guntur was more than 8 lakh cusecs by Saturday. It was only around 5.6 lakh cusecs on Friday. This led to the marooning of several homes in Guntur and Krishna districts.
“Already, there was an inflow of 7.50 lakh cusecs of water into the river and there is a possibility that another one lakh cusecs might be released,” the notice posted on the main entrance of Naidu’s house read, according to the Hindustan Times. “This might result in complete submergence of the houses. As such, it is advised that all these houses be vacated completely to avoid any loss to lives. This notice is being served only to prevent loss of life.”
Telugu Desam Party National General Secretary and MLC Nara Lokesh claimed the state government was manipulating the inflow and outflow of water to make sure that Naidu’s house was affected. He also claimed that the government was trying to create panic that the house may be submerged. “Water entered only up to the outhouse,” he said on Twitter. “And there is a lot of distance between the outhouse and the actual residence.”
Water entered the outhouse in the Naidus’ backyard on Friday, reports had said. Naidu and his family have, however, moved to Hyderabad. Floodwater had entered the banana plantation next to the house and submerged nearby homes, according to India Today.
Telugu Desam Party spokesperson Bonda Uma also alleged that the YSR government was targeting Naidu and his house instead of ensuring that people are moved from low-lying areas. The party had also taken exception to the presence of drones above Naidu’s house on Friday. The government said it was using the drones to survey the flood situation.
YSR Congress MLA and spokesperson Ambati Rambabu said the notice was served in Naidu’s interests, according to the Hindustan Times. “It is an illegal construction built in violation of river conservation rules,” Rambabu said. “He should vacate the house immediately.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party, meanwhile, blamed the TDP and the YSR Congress for politicising the flood situation. “The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government is busy settling personal vendetta against Naidu and it miserably failed in tackling the flood situation,” BJP parliamentarian YS Chowdary said.
“While the man who drowned the state in debts is taking shelter in Hyderabad, the chief minister has ignored the flood situation and went on a pleasure trip to America,” BJP Andhra Pradesh chief Kanna Lakshminarayana added.