It was a dark day for Andhra Pradesh on Monday, the second day of the Kapu reservation agitation that was kicked off at Tuni on Sunday.
The situation in Andhra, already reeling under the agitation, took a volatile turn when a person belonging to Kapu community committed suicide at the office of the District Collector at Kakinada on Monday.
According to the police, a 45-year-old man Ramana Murthy alias Ramu came to the Collector’s office to participate in ‘prajavani’ program where public can represent their grievances to the officials. Ramu, who belongs to Suryanarayanapuram in Kakinada, carried a suicide note in the pocket of his trousers.
The letter had a message that justice must be done to Kapu community. Suryanarayana, who hanged himself to a TV dish on the premises of the Collectorate, mentioned in his note that he had waited for long thinking that movie actor Pawan Kalyan would do something for the Kapu community. "But, what remained was my eternal waiting," he said in his note. Though Pawan Kalyan had claimed that his was a “questioning party”, it turned out to be a party that was “out of question”.
He hoped that “Kapu Garjana” (call given by Mudragada Padmanabham) would fight for justice to the community. He was working as a diesel mechanic in Kakinada dairy farm.
Padmnabham, YSR Congress MLA Jyothula Nehru and TDP legislator B Umamamheswara Rao called on the victim’s family and promised all help.
Interestingly, Pawan Kalyan, who had toed the line of the TDP and threw his weight behind the party in the 2014 elections, made a tongue-in-cheek statement on Monday saying that justice should be done to Kapus without prejudice to the existing Backward Classes. Though he said that anti-social elements and miscreants entered the agitation and torched the train, he was not ready to hold anybody responsible for the same. He, on the other hand, advised the leaders of the protest not to let the agitation slip out of their control and appealed to them to maintain restraint, instead of provoking tempers.
Meanwhile, former Union Minister and Congress member in the Rajya Sabha megastar K Chiranjeevi addressed an open letter to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in which he expressed his dismay over Naidu’s attempt to blame the Opposition for the violence in the agitation. He alleged that there was no transparency in the administration in the State in the last 20 months under Naidu. He wanted a resolution to be adopted in the Assembly urging the Centre to include Kapus among BCs and forward the same to the Centre.
Leader of the Opposition in AP Assembly YS Jaganmohan Reddy launched fiorewroks on Chandrababu Naidu. He sought to know if Naidu was committed to providing reservations to Kapus at all. “The Government can enhance the quota to 69 per cent on the lines of Tamil Nadu and implement them the same way,” he said. Reddy derided the government for “attempting to shift the blame” on to the Opposition parties.
Towards the end of the day, Naidu held a long press conference and once again held the YSR Congress responsible for the violent incidents. He alleged that “miscreants” from Pulivendula, the Assembly constituency being represented by Jagan, were sent to aggravate the situation in Tuni, where the train was torched in which all of its 24 coaches were gutted.
Naidu said that he wanted to ensure reservations to Kapus by insulating the same from legal wrangles. The Chief Minister said he would order an inquiry into the violent incidents at Tuni and bring all the culprits to book. Interestingly, Naidu had no new points to add, but tried to defend the position of the Government. He sought to highlight that the Opposition was hell-bent on projecting the Government in a poor light and the State as reeling under severe law and order problems, just on the eve of International Fleet Review at Visakhapatnam (slated for February 4) in which 50 countries are taking part.