Naidu trying to give slip to government, focuses on Pendurthi

Hyderabad: YSRC Congress could finally thwart TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu’s attempt to reach out to the farmers of Pendurthi mandal who have lost lands to Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy’s land-pooling programme.

Naidu was flown back home from Vizag last night following a day-long confrontation between YSRC and TDP workers at the airport. While YSRC workers vehemently opposed Naidu‘s visit to Pinagadi, a village in Pendurthi mandal, in Visakhapatnam district, TDP wanted Naidu to meet with farmers. Following the Vizag stand-off, he had to get back without meeting the Pinagadi farmers.

Why YSRC is opposed to Naidu’s meeting with Pinagadi farmers?

Pinagadi grabbed the headlines on February 17 when revenue officials descended on the village with machines to demolish the houses and take back the farmlands. The officials accused farmers of encroachment of the land.

Following the directive from the Chief Minister Jagan, Revenue officials had been frantically searching for government lands across the state. They found 32 acre of land which was allegedly occupied by the farmers in the Pinagadi.

They arrived with force to raze the houses and reclaim the land. The villagers resisted the move stating that they had been cultivating it for over 50 years.  

Police arrested all the villagers and officials took back the land. TDP leaders led by former MLA Bandaru Satyanarayana argued with the Revenue officials that the land had been their only source of livelihood for ages. The plea fell on deaf ears. Following this incident Naidu wanted to express his solidarity with them and highlight their plight.  

Thousands of farmers have fallen victim to the Pedalandariki Illu scheme which will be launched on Ugadi (March 25). All together 25 lakh house-sites will be distributed to the poor on the day.  “Land acquisition as per 2013 Act for this scheme is a laborious process. So, officials are forcefully reclaiming the land most of which belong to the Dalits. Even land that was given to universities is being taken back,” says Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao, former minister from Vijayawada.  

The YSRC doesn’t want Naidu to exploit the issue and emerge champion of farmers.  The ruling party has sought to drag Naidu back into the three-capital debate where he can be easily branded as anti-Rayalaseema and anti-Uttarandhra, two regions which may benefit from the decentralization of the capital.