Even as YSR Congress party honorary president Y.S. Vijaya Lakshmi went ahead with her day-long protest at Sircilla town in Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, TRS workers and activists of separate statehood groups were today taken into preventive custody at different places when they tried to stop her convoy enroute to the powerloom workers' town.
Over 300 preventive arrests of TRS workers, including party MLAs Harish Rao and K T Ramarao, were made in Medak and Karimnagar districts respectively as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order even as TRS leaders were moved to other locations, the police said.
The TRS says the YSR Congress must first spell out its stand clearly on the issue of a separate Telangana state before trying to draw political mileage by taking up the issues of the people of the region.
Security has been enhanced in Telangana districts. Police also made preventive arrests of TRS Korutla MLA Vidyasagar Rao along with several members of TRS party while other statehood group activists were detained in Karimnagar district even as some TRS leaders were kept under house
Earlier, nearly 15 TRS members were detained and eight of them later taken into preventive custody when they tried to stop the YSR Congress leader's convoy at Shamirpet while few pro-Telangana students were also detained near the Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad, another police officer said.
Sircilla textile town is a constituency represented by K.T.Rama Rao, son of TRS president, K Chandrasekhar Rao. 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.
TRS and the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), however, called for a shutdown in Sircilla today. The attempt by the YSR Congress Party to take up issues concerning the people of Telangana is being seen as a political foray by TRS and other political parties. They are nervous because in the recent by-elections, Parkal seat in Warangal was won by a TRS candidate by a slender margin, which encouraged the YSR Congress party to try and consolidate its position in Telangana.
"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.
KT Rama Rao has blamed the late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, who was Chief Minister for six years, for the plight of weavers in Sircilla.
With inputs from Press Trust of India