TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu on Monday, October 25 met President Ram Nath Kovind and demanded that President's Rule be imposed in Andhra Pradesh, saying state-sponsored terror has reached "unimaginable heights" threatening democracy, institutions and the fabric of the state. He demanded a CBI investigation into alleged criminal networks linked to drug-hubs operating in the state as well as against the series of attacks on Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders and offices on October 19. Naidu also sought recall of the Director General of Police (DGP) of Andhra Pradesh, alleging collusion with the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and eschewing his constitutional duties and responsibilities.
"The people of the state are facing daily threats to their constitutionally mandated rights... state-sponsored terror has reached unimaginable level of heights threatening democracy, institutions and the very fabric of the state," he said in a representation made to the president. If the Union government remains silent towards the YSRCP-ruled state government which is continuously violating the constitution, then there is every possibility of planting seeds for the disintegration of the nation," he said.
The TDP president further alleged that the current situation makes for an apt case for the invocation of Article 356. â€œAs you are well aware, Article 356 is not something to be imposed in a cavalier fashion. The TDP itself does not condone its imposition except in grave circumstances. We strongly urge you to see the current situation in AP," he added.
Seeking the president's intervention to curb the spread of drug use from Andhra Pradesh to the rest of India, Naidu said ganja worth Rs 8,000 crore is being cultivated in around 2,500 acres in the state. Nearly 3,000 kg of heroin was seized at Mundra port on September 15 this year. Recently on October 21, a cache of 3 kg of pseudoephedrine was seized by Bengaluru police and the force traced the drug's origin to Narasapuram of West Godavari, he said, adding that it is evident that Andhra Pradesh has emerged as a drug-hub crossing state and national boundaries. "The future of our youth, both in the state and nation, is at great risk if this spread is left unchecked. This illicit trade serves as a significant revenue stream for anti-social elements," he claimed.
Asserting that there is "mafiasiation of the state apparatus" in Andhra Pradesh, the TDP leader said in the meeting that the ruling-YSRCP thrives on money gained from illicit trade networks. To protect and enforce these networks, this party in turn corrupts every state organisation and section of society that opposes it, he said. A prime example is the mob attack on TDP offices and leaders across the state on October 19, including on its national headquarters, he said. "This attack was carried out despite the presence of DGP...," Naidu said, adding that the police remained spectators.
Thousands of "false cases" have been filed against dissenting individuals, organisations and political parties, especially TDP cadres. Even the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and the Supreme Court have pointed out to lawlessness in the state, he said. "The longer AP's situation is neglected, the worse it will turn into a hotbed of illicit trade, conversion into a police state, ultimately leading to a state of anarchy that hurts our democracy, people, economy and our constitutional and republican principles," Naidu rued. The TDP supremo is also planning to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday, October 26 to seek his intervention in the matter.
On the other hand, hitting out at the TDP, YSRCP leader MP Vijaya Sai Reddy on Monday said the opposition party is making false allegations and spreading false propaganda about the state with the ill-intent of showing Andhra Pradesh in a bad light. Vijaya Sai Reddy, in a party statement, said, "TDP president Chandrababu Naidu is just trying to gain sympathy by showing pictures of the attack on the TDP office, but he is silent on the reason why the citizens attacked the office." The YSRCP leader said the opposition party is doing it as part of a conspiracy to stop the welfare schemes being implemented by the YSRCP government. He further claimed that TDP leaders even use abrasive language against YSRCP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.