Kapu leader blames AP govt for violence

Kapu leader blames AP govt for violence
Mudragada Padmanabham, the leader of the Kapu agitation that took an ugly turn on Sunday, has blamed the TDP government for the large-scale violence at Tuni in East Godavari district where a train, two police stations and vehicles were burnt down.

Addressing the media at his home in Kirlampudi — 478 km from Hyderabad — on Monday, Mudragada said he had given a call for rail roko and rasta roko but never told agitators to resort to violence. “The TDP leaders encouraged and trained rowdies to do the damage,” he said. “I am responsible for the agitation but not the violence,” he said, denying allegations that he was instigated by the opposition YSRC to destabilise the government.

“Even I was shocked to see the arson. Immediately, I withdrew rasta and rail roko. But I will sit on hunger strike in five days. Even if the government arrests me, I will continue the hunger strike in jail. I won’t seek bail. My wife will also do her part, sitting at home. Efforts are being made to portray Kapus in bad light. But the frustration increased among Kapus as the TDP government tried to obstruct Sunday’s programme at every stage.

“I am not sold out to the YSRC or the Congress. I have taken up similar agitations for inclusion of Kapus in backward classes when the Congress was in power. Does it mean that at that time I was sold out to the TDP,” Mudragada asked.

He said it was Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who had assured the community in the TDP election manifesto that the Kapu Corporation will be given Rs 5,000 crore in five years.

“The government released only Rs 100 crore in 22 months. Similarly, Naidu has promised inclusion of Kapus in BCs list in a time-bound manner. Naidu appointed Justice Manjunath Commission just a few days ago. Kapus are being used like curry leaves,” Mudragada said.

Mudragada was a former TDP minister and now a Kakinada MP from the same party. He started his political career from the Janata Party in the 70s. He joined the TDP in 1983. He shifted to the Congress in 1989, when he launched agitation for reservations for Kapu community (Kapunadu) which forms about 25 per cent of the then AP total population. He came back to the TDP in 1999 to become MP (Kakinada).

It was because of his five-day long indefinite hunger strike at his home in Kirlampudi, that the then Congress government in 1994 issued GO, granting BC status to Kapu community. Though the high court did not strike down the GO, it has directed the state government to do background work to study the economic status of Kapus by appointing a BC commission. Since then, two commissions were appointed but no decision has been taken on granting BC status to Kapus.
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