Yet another albatross around the neck of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham. The Kapus are protesting for reservation in the state, one of the promises made by Naidu during the 2014 elections.
The Kapu leader wants to undertake the ‘Chalo Amaravati Padayatra’ on July 26, but according to police, nobody has sought police permission for the padayatra. The police are reluctant about giving permission keeping in mind the first padayatra, which took place on January 31, 2016 at Tuni in East Godavari district, when the mob got violent. At the Kapu Garjana, the meeting had turned violent when agitators set afire the Ratnachal Express at the Tuni railway station, attacked police stations and damaged many vehicles. Many policemen were also injured during the incident.
While 60 cases had been registered then, 250 people involved with the same were arrested. But Padmanabham, also a former minister in the united Andhra Pradesh government, keeps popping up every three months with similar ideas. Earlier, the police had kept him under house arrest.
Padmanabham feels that the current TDP government is not planning to keep its election promise regarding the Scheduled and Backward Caste (SBC) status to Kapus. “Naidu is dilly-dallying on the issue of provision of SBC reservation to Kapus. The chief minister seems to be not really committed to fulfillment of his election promise,” he told at a media conference.
The padayatra will apparently cover 116 villages and go through four districts, starting from Kirlampudi, where Mudragada Padmanabhan lives, ending at Amaravati, the new yet-to-be-built capital.
Naidu, meanwhile, held a review meeting with officials to discuss the Kapu reservation issue. The state Home Minister N. Chinna Rajappa wondered why the Kapu leader was provoking youngsters when the Justice Manjunatha Commission is about to submit its report to the government. He also added that the Kapu Corporation was giving loans to eligible persons of the same caste and some of them were also being given jobs.
Naidu might also be haunted by his electoral loss in 2004, when the Congress leader Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy went on a massive padayatra across the huge state of united Andhra Pradesh. There is news that the YSRCP president Jaganmohan Reddy might follow his father's footsteps and try to do a similar padayatra.