Tension prevailed at Undavalli, in the Amaravati region, on Thursday as police arrested leaders of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) who were heading towards the location of 'Praja Vedika', which was demolished by the government on this day last year.
The meeting hall, adjacent to the residence of TDP president Chandrababu Naidu, was demolished a month after the YSRCP came to power. The YSRCP government had termed it an illegal construction.
On the completion of one year of the demolition, the TDP leaders wanted to visit the site but were stopped by the police, who told them that there was no permission given for any gathering.
There was an argument between the two sides, with TDP leaders insisting that they were proceeding to Chandrababu Naidu's house. The leaders included former minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, Varla Ramaiah, Kollu Ravindra, Nakka Anand Babu and Rajendra Prasad.
The police officers objected to the TDP leaders taking media persons with them. The opposition party leaders claimed that they had not invited anybody and the police were free to stop them.
However, the police refused to allow the TDP leaders to head towards Naidu's house. When the leaders insisted, the police arrested them and shifted them to police vehicles. They were later taken to Mangalagiri police station.
Devineni Umamaheswara Rao alleged that the YSRCP government was resorting to undemocratic methods to suppress the voice of the Opposition. He said the government had wasted Rs 9 crore of public money by demolishing 'Praja Vedika'.
Varla Ramaiah said the government continued to pursue vendetta politics by using the police against the Opposition.
Praja Vedika, a people's grievance cell, was built as an annexe to the residence of Naidu when he was the chief minister.
A month after coming to power, the YSRCP government demolished the structure on the grounds that it violated norms of the River Conservancy Act, 1884.
The owner of Naidu's rented house was also served a notice for constructing the house in violation of all rules on the banks of the Krishna river.
The matter is currently pending in the high court.