The police on Saturday prevented the proposed visits of Congress leaders in Telangana to different projects on the Godavari river to highlight the alleged delay in their completion, in view of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown norms.
At some places, the party activists were taken into preventive custody and later released. Several leaders were informed at their residences about the lockdown guidelines which do not allow such gatherings.
Taking exception to party leaders not being allowed to visit the projects, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and Lok Sabha member N Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the voice of the opposition is being muzzled. Alleging that the police acted in a "partisan" manner, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that his party would take up the issue with the Governor and the Centre, besides approaching the high court.
"All democratic institutions are being trampled upon in Telangana," he told reporters. While no restrictions are placed for ruling TRS leaders, Congress leaders, including elected representatives, are often restrained from organising activities in the state, Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged.
The restrictions have been placed on Congress leaders though the party told the police that they are ready to abide by all the rules and restrictions, he said.
Dismissing Congress criticism of projects not being completed, TRS MLC Palla Rajeshwara Reddy said the TRS government has completed projects like Mid-Manair which were not completed during the Congress rule and that irrigation projects are an ongoing process. The TRS government has been able to complete several projects, he said and alleged it is only a drama being staged by the Congress
Just earlier this week, several Congress leaders in Telangana were placed under house arrest and some of them were taken into preventive custody in Hyderabad and other parts of the state as police stopped them from organising a 'Chalo Secretariat' programme.
The proposed event, which sought to 'highlight people's grievances', was not permitted in view of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown norms. At the time, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader M Bhatti Vikramarka said that he sought an appointment with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to discuss a host of issues including the COVID-19 situation.
"Unfortunately, instead of giving an appointment, they are arresting us," he claimed, adding, "They are not allowing us to do our duties."
The Congress leader said he would move a privilege motion in the Assembly for being obstructed from discharging his duties.