Praja Vedika demolition escalates tension between Jagan and Naidu
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Praja Vedika demolition escalates tension between Jagan and Naidu

By Thehindu calender  30-Jun-2019

Praja Vedika demolition escalates tension between Jagan and Naidu

It seems like a classic case of twist in the tale possible only in the Andhra brand of politics. When the former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu shot off a letter requesting his sprightly successor Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to spare Praja Vedika, a government hall, for his use in his capacity as Leader of the Opposition, he would not have bargained for seeing earthmovers trundling in so early and mowing it down overnight.
Mr. Naidu must surely be ruing writing a mistimed missive that not only hastened the bulldozing but also triggered a government notice, warning of a similar treatment for his rented residence nearby if its owner Lingamaneni Ramesh did not respond in seven days.
The notice listed several violations, such as location of the structure within a 100-metre range of Krishna river. Seeing the notice pasted on the building, Mr. Naidu would also regret, like many of his party colleagues, why he did not go the whole hog against his rivals during his tenure! Apparently, much like his political strategy that bombed during the elections, he misjudged Mr. Reddy’s assertion made soon after he took over as Chief Minister that he would not be vindictive towards his political rivals.
Different opinions
Depending on which side one is, the bulldozing of Praja Vedika is being hailed or condemned. Environmentalists, from Waterman of India Rajendra Singh down to local activist Anumolu Gandhi, are quite pleased. Dr. Singh was surprised to see the way the Krishna river bank and the bed were being encroached upon by the high and mighty to put up their expansive guest houses, a nature cure hospital and ashrams. That the government would act tough was revealed by Mr. Reddy himself when he thundered at a District Collectors’ conference — ironically held at the same Praja Vedika four days ago — that all such unauthorised constructions would be pulled down, starting with Vedika. Indeed, he wanted to send a strong message, and any well-meaning citizen would hail it as a daring step that normally requires loads of political will.


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