Yet another YSRCP leader in Andhra Pradesh comes under criticism for continuing with publicity and popularity exercises in the middle of the lockdown. Videos of tractor processions organized by Sullurpeta MLA Kiliveti Sanjeevaiah on Wednesday, to distribute essential commodities to poor families in his constituency, show gatherings of people in close proximity with each other.
A procession of more than 30 tractors was flagged off by Rajya Sabha MP from YSRCP Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy at Sullurpeta town in Nellore district on Wednesday. Visuals show the rally being inaugurated by the MP amid a group of people. The tractors are seen displaying large banners with text that reads ‘Jagananna Kanuka’ (Jagan anna’s gift), with images of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy as well as local party leaders.
A similar rally was also held at Naidupeta town of Sullurpeta constituency two days earlier, also organized by Sullurpeta MLA. This earlier rally was flagged off by State Minister for Water Resources Anil Kumar Yadav, who is MLA from Nellore City.
Sullurpeta police insist that in both instances, the tractors were only used to transport the groceries, and were distributed to poor families in 6 manuals of the constituency through village volunteers while maintaining social distance and taking safety precautions.
“A small gathering was conducted at a community hall on Wednesday, to discuss the work being done and to spread awareness about COVID-19. No large crowds were involved,” a Sullurpeta police official said. This despite visuals showing crowds of people near the tractors.
Funds for the exercise, including the commodities that were distributed, were raised through donations from local industrialists.
A few days back, a similar distribution program was organized in the neighboring Srikalahasti town of Chittoor district. Srikalahasti MLA from YSRCP Biyyapu Madhusudhan Reddy had organized a spectacle with nearly 30 tractors carrying essential supplies to be distributed to the poor. The tractors were fixed with large flexes displaying images of celebrities and industrialists who had donated to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, including film actors like Prabhas and Mahesh Babu, heads of corporations like Reliance and Tata Groups, and even YS Bharati, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s wife.
An aerial view video of the rally was also recorded. However, Srikalahasti police also insisted that the distribution was done while maintaining the necessary social distance. Srikalahasti DySP Nagendra said that MLA Madhusudhan Reddy himself was on his scooter, guiding the volunteers who were distributing essentials from the tractors. The MLA had reportedly funded the entire program with his own resources.
Recently, the Srikalahasti rally faced even more criticism after nearly 14 frontline workers, including 6 police personnel, tested positive for COVID-19 in Srikalahasti. But the administration had denied that the frontline workers had got the infection from the rallies. #KhabarLive