Tirupati: Senior YSR Congress Party leader Bhumana Karunakar Reddy lashed out at Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu for using a natural calamity of the scale of cyclone Titli for self-promotion and propaganda. Chandrababu's tall talk was in sharp contrast to the reality at the ground level where the TDP government was doing precious little, he remarked.
At a time when farmers had suffered unprecedented crop losses on account of the cyclone, and might take decades to recover from the devastation that the calamity struck, government officials were busy attending to the chief minister, Bhumana said.
Addressing the media at the Tirupati Press Club, the senior YSRCP leader questioned the chief minister on what he had achieved by camping in the cyclone-affected area. All that he did was launch a media blitz through his favourite channels claiming that he was working round the clock to provide relief to the victims of the cyclone, he said.
As someone who had been to the area, the senior YSRCP leader said that he could see the magnitude of crop losses estimated at 5 lakhs per acre. It is shocking and shameful that such a major tragedy is being turned into a political opportunity by Babu in the most despicable manner, Bhumana said.
The AP chief minister was pretending to alleviate the suffering of people of the cyclone-affected area, when in reality he was there in those parts to silence the victims. The senior YSRCP leader described as shameful Chandrababu Naidu's attempts to use police and official machinery to put down protests of the local villagers who demanded basic supplies of ration, drinking water and restoration of electricity.
Bhumana said that it was laughable that Chandrababu should claim that in 2 days, he had been able to overcome the devastation wrought by Titli. His propaganda is being carried out by the overenthusiastic yellow media. The senior YSRCP leader remarked that Chandrababu Naidu was obsessed with propaganda.
Bhumana hit out at Chandrababu for trying to shout down and threaten people who were asking for water, essential commodities, milk, candles, kerosene and electricity. Bhumana said that the most decadent aspect of Chandrababu Naidu's obsession for self-promotion could be seen in the yellow media seeking to portray incidents where cyclone victims protesting against government indifference as instances of people greeting the chief minister. The yellow media is trying to sell the idea that these people hit by the cyclone, were hailing Chandrababu Naidu when they were in reality, protesting against denial of basic relief.
Bhumana Karunakar Reddy pointed out that YSRCP leaders went to the most severely affected areas where crop losses had occurred. He remarked that cashew, coconut, jackfruit crops had suffered indescribable damage. It was unfortunate that Chandrababu Naidu was trying to counter YSRCP's relief efforts on the ground through hollow propaganda.
It was equally unfortunate, the senior YSRCP leader said, that instead of being engaged in relief operations, government officials were busy with the chief minister. He commented that Chandrababu Naidu was stooping to the level of calling the complaining victims, battered by cyclone Titli, as YSRCP followers and worse, as YSRCP "rowdies".
Bhumana slammed Chandrababu for implicating cyclone victims in police cases and threatening people orphaned by the destruction of the cyclone. He observed that it was shocking that villagers complaining about denial of water and food were caned by the police.
The senior YSRCP leader pointed out that in contrast, 2 high power committees were set up by Leader of Opposition and YSR Congress party president, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to assess the scale of damage caused by cyclone Titli and to assist the victims of the calamity. YS Jagan has asked senior leaders to be there in the Titli-affected region to attend to the needs of the people.
Bhumana Karunakar Reddy further said that it was cheap politics on Chandrababu's part to accuse the YSRCP of "obstructing development". His attempts to use a natural calamity like Titli revealed his opportunistic style of politics. Bhumana also criticised the NDA government for neglecting this humongous tragedy. The YSRCP condemns the Centre's indifference in the strongest of terms, Bhumana added.
The senior YSRCP leader assured the people of the region that YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy would visit the house of every single victim of the natural calamity.
Bhumana Karunakar Reddy took serious objection to absurd criticism by minister Paritala Sunitha of YSRCP president, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. He said that instead of levelling such baseless allegations, Paritala Sunitha should recall that On April 19, 2003, Paritala Ravi called a media meet at which he said that he feared a threat to his life and that Chandrababu Naidu will be held responsible for any untoward which could happen to him. Bhumana pointed out that it was Chandrababu who humiliated and tormented Paritala Ravi. The senior YSRCP leader strongly condemned Paritala Sunitha's comments.