TDP, YSRCP workers clash at Anna canteen in Andhra’s Kuppam

TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu staged a sit-in protest in front of the Anna canteen that was vandalised allegedly by YSRCP cadres, while police resorted to lathi charge to diffuse the situation.
TDP, YSRCP workers clash at Anna canteen in Andhra’s Kuppam
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A tense situation prevailed in Andhra Pradesh’s Kuppam on Thursday, August 25, when an Anna canteen that was set to be inaugurated by former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo Chandrababu Naidu was vandalised. Naidu was visiting Kuppam, the constituency that he represents, to inaugurate the canteen when members of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) allegedly attacked the TDP members, and vandalised a few banners set up in front of the canteen building. Clashes between TDP and YSRCP workers had continued for the second consecutive day on Thursday, in view of Naidu’s visit to the constituency.

The Anna canteen scheme was launched by Naidu when he was in power in 2019, to provide affordable meals along the lines of Amma canteens in Tamil Nadu. However, the programme was put on hold after the YSRCP led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy came into power. On Thursday, YSRCP workers allegedly vandalised the Anna canteen in Kuppam before it could be inaugurated, which led to a clash between supporters of the two parties. Before the clash could get too violent, the police resorted to lathi charge to de-escalate the situation.

TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu condemned the vandalism, and staged a sit-in on the road in protest. "It's a black day in the history of the Kuppam, this place has never seen such hooliganism," he said, adding, “It will not even take me a minute to do the same to [YSRCP]. But I will not.” Visuals from the incident show police beating protesting members of both parties outside the Anna canteen. YSRCP workers were seen holding party flags and shouting ‘Jai Jagan,’ while pulling down banners erected outside the building. TDP alleged that a party worker named Raju was seriously injured as a result of the lathi-charge.

TDP state president Kinjarapu Atchannaidu also led protests in front of the office of the Director General of Police along with several party workers. As the situation returned to normalcy, Naidu eventually served food to a few people at the Anna canteen as the distribution of food commenced.  

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