High drama unfolded on Wednesday night as former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, along with several other Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders, was detained in Vijaywada when he was trying to embark on a 'bus yatra' to Amaravati in solidarity with the farmers' agitation.
The police later let off the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and other leaders at his house at Undavalli in Amaravati.
The farmers are protesting against the proposed development of three capital cities and are demanding that Amaravati be continued as Andhra Pradesh's capital.
Police had stopped Naidu, MLC Nara Lokesh, MLAs K Atchannaidu and Nimmala Rama Naidu, and Communist Party of India (CPI) State Secretary K Ramakrishna, leading to a heated debate between the two sides. Protesting against the police behaviour, Naidu and others squatted on the road at Benz Circle.
Naidu condemned the high-handed behaviour of police and demanded that they be allowed to undertake the 'bus yatra'. The protestors raised slogans against Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and the police.
The protest led to a huge traffic jam in the busy city centre. Amid a tense situation, the police forcibly lifted the protesting leaders and carried them to waiting police vehicles. They were later dropped at Naidu's residence.
Naidu's son Nara Lokes, former ministers Atchan Naidu, Devineni Uma and TDP MLAs were also among those detained.
Condemnation for Naidu
Meanwhile, State Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharitha slammed Naidu for the "drama" and said that he is turning out to be an anti-social element after losing power. She blamed him for the chaotic situation in Krisnna and Guntur districts.
"He is just trying to save the lands of his benamis in the capital region by creating a law and order problem in the region," she said.
The minister said under the three capital proposal the legislative capital will remain in Amaravati and hence there was no need for any protest over the issue.