Former Rajya Sabha member and Padma Bhushan recipient, Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad, has come under the purview of controversies once again. Eyebrows were raised as the author of ‘Draupadi’ erected three statues on the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam. Unveiled by HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao about 2 days ago, these were of the prominent film personality, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, writer-cum-director, Dasari Narayana Rao, and TDP MLA, Nandamuri Harikrishna, who recently passed away in a road accident.
These installations are being cited as a violation of the Supreme Court’s orders. In 2013, SC released an order banning fresh encroachment of roads, pavements and sideways by the construction of religious structures or installation of statues of public figures. The Supreme Court had also ordered all state governments and union territories to deny permission for erecting statues.
According to GVMC sources, Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad has been issued a notice from the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) for installing the statues without any prior information or permission from the Zone- II GVMC authorities. YLP, in turn, has defended his action citing instances when statues of luminaries were set up without permission from the authorities in the past.
Earlier this year, a similar incident took place in Hyderabad when a member of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), G Jyothi Goud, erected two statues of her 17-year-old son who had died 7 months before. They were removed by GHMC for their clear violation of the Supreme Court’s orders.