Infighting among YSRCP leaders in Nagari constituency led to the banners being torn down, party leaders alleged.

CM Jagan’s birthday banners vandalised, YSRCP leaders blame MLA RK Roja
news Controversy Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 13:37

Multiple flex banners put up to celebrate Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s birthday were vandalised in the Nagari constituency of Chittoor district in the early hours of December 20. However, YSRCP leaders who had put up the banners are not blaming the opposition, but the YSRCP MLA of the constituency, RK Roja. YSRCP leaders from five mandals of the constituency, who had organised to put up the banners which were torn down, said that they have had ongoing differences with the MLA. They accused Roja of instigating TDP workers to tear down their banners. 

Leaders of Roja’s rival faction from within her party staged a protest against the act of vandalism, briefly blocking the Tirupati-Chennai national highway on December 20. CM Jagan’s birthday is on December 21, and several banners erected in Nagari town by the protesting group of leaders were found torn in the early hours of December 20. Meanwhile, the banners set up by MLA Roja, prominently featuring her image along with Jagan’s, appeared to have remained intact. 

The YSRCP leaders of Roja’s rival group alleged that the Nagari MLA had sidelined party workers who had made contributions since before the YSRCP government came to power in 2019, and was biased towards her own relatives and people who had earlier worked for the opposition Telugu Desam Party. “The MLA’s relatives, who weren't around when YSRCP was not in power, have seized control, while party leaders and workers who’ve consistently worked from before are being disrespected,” one of the rival leaders said, accusing Roja of encouraging those who supported TDP before. 

Another leader alleged that there has been TDP rule in Nagari for the past two-and-half years. “If they (Roja’s faction) had any affection for the party, she wouldn’t have destroyed the banners,” he said. 

With the understanding that the two factions can organise the Chief Minister’s birthday celebrations separately, the leaders said they had deliberately decided to set up the banners in a different location from where MLA Roja was organising her program. According to The Hindu, police have registered a case in the matter and investigation is ongoing. Puttur Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) TD Yashwant told The Hindu that identifying the culprits has been difficult as the important CCTV cameras in the area had been blocked while setting up the banners.