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Uttam leads siege of Secretariat by Congress workers

Hyderabad: Led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, thousands of Congress workers laid siege to the State Secretariat on Thursday. They were protesting against the proposed demolition of present Secretariat buildings to facilitate construction of new blocks.
Uttam Kumar Reddy, along with thousands of Congress workers and senior leaders, reached the Telangana Secretariat at around 11 AM. Apparently fearing that the Congress workers might storm the Secretariat building, police sealed all the entry points and erected barricades along the main entrance. The Congress workers then staged a sit-in protest for over an hour and raised slogans against the TRS Government and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.
Speaking on the occasion, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that at a time when people of Telangana were engulfed in various problems and several welfare schemes were not being implemented properly for want of funds, KCR was planning to waste hundreds of crores of rupees from public exchequer to construct a new Secretariat just to satisfy his sentiments. He said most of the blocks in the State Secretariat were constructed in recent past and they were totally fit for office accommodation. But KCR wants to demolish them just to follow the advise of his Vaasthu experts. Shockingly, he said that it the Advocate General resorted to falsehood before the High Court that present Secretariat does not meet fire safety norms. “TRS Government tried to mislead the court to justify its insane decision of demolishing the Secretariat,” he alleged.
The TPCC Chief said that 16 Chief Ministers and their cabinet ministers operated from the same Secretariat premises and successfully completed their tenures. They include AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who enjoys Z-Plus security and it was not possible for security agencies to allow a VIP to function from an office which is not safe from fire. However, he alleged that KCR was behaving like a “Vaasthu Maniac” and wants to demolish even good buildings to please his sentiments.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party was fighting the case in the High Court and it would also intensify agitation across the State. He said that the Congress party would continue its agitation until KCR drops the plan to shift Secretariat.
The TPCC Chief said that instead of wasting public money on new Secretariat, State Government should priorities clearance of dues of crop loan waiver scheme, Fee Reimbursement, Aarogyasri and other welfare schemes.
Senior leaders including Leader of Opposition in Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir, MLAs D.K. Aruna, G. Chinna Reddy, Rammohan Reddy, Sampath Kumar, Vamshi Chand Reddy, MLC Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, former union ministers Sarve Satyanarayana and Balram Naik, former ministers P. Sabitha Indira Reddy and Danam Nagender, ex-MPs M. Anjan Kumar Yadav, Mallu Ravi, TPCC Treasurer Gudur Narayan Reddy, Youth Congress president Anil Kumar Yadav, NSUI President B. Venkat, Mahila Congress president N. Sharada also participated in the dharna.
The city police misbehaved and manhandled Congress leaders including some MLAs.
Later, police arrested all Congress workers and leaders including Uttam Kumar Reddy and shifted them to Gandhi Nagar, Abids and Nampally police stations. They were later released on personal bond. Uttam Kumar Reddy has strongly condemned the high handed behaviour of police. (NSS)