Jagan government defends move to prohibit meetings on roads


by IANS | Wed, Jan 04, 2023, 11:26 AM

Amaravati, Jan  (IANS) Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSRCP on Tuesday defended its move prohibiting public meetings and rallies on roads, saying it is aimed at ensuring public safety.

YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) General Secretary and government advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna countered what the party called a fake narrative on prohibitory orders for public meetings.

He said that the opposition has been spreading a lot of misinformation regarding the Government Order (GO) issued by the state Home Department.

He dismissed the allegation that GO is suppressing the questioning voices. "Nowhere in the GO has it been stated that people have been banned from holding public meetings. It is a prohibitory order in the wake of Nellore tragedy. The GO has prohibited public meetings and rallies on roads, including national highways to ensure public safety," he said.

He pointed out that the GO clearly states that permission will be granted for meetings but safety takes precedence. That's why there is an emphasis on width of the road, location, exit points, number of people attending the meeting, among other pointers which would be considered by the authorities before awarding clearance for holding events.

He also rejected the claim by the opposition parties that the decision is autocratic. "The GO has elaborated that the police and district administration have the freedom to suggest alternative locations away from public roads subject to the condition that the meetings should not obstruct free flow of traffic. It is not an autocratic decision but for the safety of the public," he said.

Earlier, the opposition parties came down heavily on the YSRCP government for issuing the GO.

Politburo member of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and MLA, Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary, termed the GO a new year gift that deprives the people of their democratic rights.

He said that the GO has been issued on the provisions of the 1861 Police Act implemented by the British, which are totally outdated. This amounts to maligning democracy and it reflects the factionist mentality of the Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, the TDP leader said.

The GO is a classic example that Jagan turned as a murderer of the democracy and it once again proved his dictatorial mentality, he said.

He alleged that Jagan Reddy is trying to stifle the voice of the opposition as he is unable to digest the enormous response to the meetings of TDP President Nara Chandrababu Naidu.

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