Vijaya Lakshmi would begin her 'Chenetha dharna' (sit-in in support of weavers) around noon at Sircilla, a predominantly textile town in Karimnagar district, which is represented in Andhra Pradesh Assembly by TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao’s son KT Rama Rao.
Alleging that Vijaya Lakshmi’s protest is only aimed at gaining political mileage in Telangana region, TRS and other pro-Telangana organizations demanded that the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led party spell out its stand on the separate statehood issue.
Urging the TRS leaders not to link her visit with the Telangana statehood issue, Vijaya Lakshmi has appealed to them to support her in voicing the problems of weavers.
"We appeal to them again not to create problems for the sake of political gains. This protest is aimed at highlighting the problems of weavers. This is to mount pressure on the government to take steps for the welfare of weavers," YSRCP MLA Sobha Nagi Reddy told reporters.
TRS and the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), however, called for a shut down in Sircilla today and vowed to protest against the visit of Vijaya Lakshmi.
"Why she (Vijaya Lakshmi) did not shed a drop of tear when over 800 youth committed suicide in support of Telangana. YSRCP and Congress government have a tacit understanding. YSRCP supports Pranab Mukherjee in the Presidential election and the Kiran Kumar Reddy gives permission for Vijaya Lakshmi's fast in Sircilla and lets her party gain foothold in Telangana so that they can stop formation of Telangana state.
We are asking YSRCP to announce support for Telangana. They are not ready to do that. If they give such a letter to the Centre, we will welcome her," TRS MLA Jupally Krishna Rao told reporters.
There are apprehensions that Vijaya Lakshmi's convoy might be obstructed en route Sircilla by the agitators and the state police has made elaborate security arrangements to prevent any untoward incidents.
TRS leaders alleged that a number of party leaders like MLAs T Harish Rao, KT Rama Rao were taken into preventive custody.
"The government did not give permission for K Chandrasekhar Rao's fast (in 2009). But it is arresting Telangana people who are protesting against Vijaya Lakshmi?s visit. The government has only expressed its anti-Telangana attitude. It is now proved that Congress and Jagan are only two sides of the same coin," Rama Rao said in a release.
He also alleged that late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who was chief minister for six long years, was responsible for the plight of weavers in Sircilla.
Meanwhile, a clash took place between policemen, who were deployed at the TRS office in Hyderabad, and the party workers. TRS workers alleged that policemen attacked them inside the party office.
A police official, however, said deployment was done at the TRS office only to ensure that no untoward incident takes place and that they did not go inside the party office.
Hyderabad: YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) honorary president YS Vijaya Lakshmi today left for Sircilla in Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh to undertake a day-long fast to highlight the problem of weavers amid stiff resistance by the leaders and workers of TRS and other pro-Telangana outfits.
First Published: Monday, July 23, 2012, 11:52