Anantapur: For Andhra Pradesh, which takes great pride in its great son, freedom fighter, late Pingali Venkaiah, for having designed the Indian national flag, a shameful controversy has stirred after village officials of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government insulted the national flag, by painting the ruling YSRC party flag over it in a rural government building here.
The controversy that has now firmly gripped the state started when officials of the Tammidepalli village gram panchyat in Amarapuram mandal in Anantapur district removed and replaced the Indian national flag with the YSRC colours on the office wall, leading to stern condemnation of the action.
Telugu Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, BJP state president Kanna Lakshminarayana and other opposition leaders posted photos of shameful ‘re-painting act’ of YSRC colours over the Indian Flag at a panchayat office on social media platforms, which turned viral, with common people too joined in strongly criticising the YSRC government.
The saffron-white-green colours, along blue Ashoka chakra symbol, were wiped out and YSRC party flag colours were painted over it. The blue colour was used on two sides while white colour was painted used in the middle, an act which is in brazen violation of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, which prohibits desecration of or insult to country’s national symbols, including the national flag.
The photos of the criminal insult to national sentiment by government influenced by the ruling YSRC party cadre went viral on social media, stirring a huge controversy. Netizens shared videos and photos of the panchayat office in a before and after mode.
“I have never seen our National Tricolour being utterly disrespected like this. YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government must apologise for this shocking, abominable act of replacing tricolour with YSRC party colours,” Mr Naidu tweeting, adding a hashtag, #YSRCPDisrespectsTricolour.
Mr Lakshminarayana blamed the irresponsibility of government and called it shocking and shameful.
Mr Y.V.B. Rajendra Prasad, MLC, TD, said that party flag colour madness has reached a peak in YSRC leaders, who were trying to paint party colours on government offices, spending `1,300 crore on the programme, at a time when the state was facing severe financial challenges and was finding it difficult to even pay wages to employees.
Mr Buddha Venkanna, MLC, TD said that the YSRC government was spending huge sums of money in painting government offices with YSRC party flag colours. “The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRC government is spending Rs 1,300 crore for painting YSRC colours to government offices, wasting precious public money and putting additional financial burden on public,” Mr Venkanna said.
The police have not registered any case so far. Nor has any senior leader of the YSRC, including Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy offered apologies over the insult.
In a tame late action, Mr S. Satyanarayana, Anantapur collector, purportedly suspended R. Prakash, village secretary of Tammidepalli. The government also had the wall re-painted with white paint afterwards.