Blaming Naidu for the incident, Roja said that those who blocked her car were “TDP goons pretending to be farmers.”

YSRCP MLA Rojas convoy blocked by Amaravati protesters near SRM University File Photo
news Controversy Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 19:15

Mild tension erupted near SRM University in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday afternoon, as several Amaravati protestors gathered outside the campus to protest YSRCP MLA RK Roja’s stand on the capital. Roja, who is also the chairperson of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC), was at the university campus to attend an industry-academia summit as the chief guest. 

Scores of protestors gathered near the university and reportedly blocked Roja’s convoy for a while, demanding her support for their protests against shifting the capital away from Amaravati, as proposed by the YSRCP government. While Roja eventually entered the university and attended the summit, protesters continued to raise slogans in support of Amaravati outside the main gate. 

Speaking to reporters, some of the protestors condemned Roja’s remarks where she called the protesters ‘paid artistes’ and her dismissal of their concerns. According to reports, Roja was eventually escorted out of the campus through an alternate route with heavy police protection. 

Addressing the media later in the day, Roja blamed TDP chief and former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu for the blockade and the protests. “Since they knew beforehand that I would be visiting the SRM campus, TDP groups had started planning to attack me yesterday onwards. They stopped me near Pedaparimi village, which is not even in the capital region, and did not let me move. They claimed that injustice was happening to capital area farmers, and demanding that I should provide justice, they went on to verbally abuse me,” she said.

Lashing out at Naidu and his party, she said that the people should be “abusing, blocking and attacking TDP leaders instead.” 

“Farmers should question TDP leaders like Prathipati Pulla Rao, Narayana and Naidu for their mistakes. Instead, if they’re targeting us, it’s clear that these are TDP goons acting in the guise of farmers,” Roja said.  She went on to say that if such blockades continued, investors would refuse to come to Amaravati. 

She also assured that Amaravati would not be neglected, as it would be the legislative capital of the state. 

Continuing to lash out at Naidu, she said that he had launched his state-wide campaign called Praja Chaitanya Yatra to divert attention from the issue of I-T raids on associates of the Telugu Desam Party. Calling the TDP’s public awareness rally ‘picchodi yatra’ (madman’s rally), she called Naidu “president of drunkards' association”, alleging that he was supporting drunkards. 

On Wednesday, the first day of the TDP’s state-wide public campaign, Naidu while criticising Jagan’s governance blamed him for the rise in liquor prices. He said that the common man was finding it difficult to buy liquor because of the price hike. 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.