BJP demands Jinnah tower in Andhra town be renamed after Abdul Kalam
Several BJP leaders, including its national secretary Sunil Deodhar and workers were taken into police custody when they sought to march to the Jinnah Tower Centre in Guntur on Tuesday evening demanding that it be renamed after former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
After a meeting of the party’s youth wing the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the BJP leaders and workers tried to take out a protest march to Jinnah Tower, but the police foiled it and detained them.
For the past few months, the BJP and other Hindu organisations have been demanding that the historic Jinnah Tower be renamed, but the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government has paid no heed.
On Tuesday, Deodhar, the co-in-charge of BJP for the state, was in Guntur and sought to lead the protest demanding the Jinnah Tower be renamed as A P J Abdul Kalam Tower.
BJP Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao condemned the high-handed behaviour of the police against his party leaders and their detention.
In a tweet, Rao said he wondered “if we are in AP or Pakistan”.
State BJP president Somu Veerraju said not only the party but the people of Guntur too want the tower be renamed.
Veerraju said there was widespread support for the demand to remove Jinnah’s name and the tower be renamed after Abdul Kalam. “The state government cannot adopt an oppressive stance over our demand,” Veerraju added.
(With inputs from agencies)