Strongly opposing the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal Award, leaders of opposition political parties and farmers' associations from Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and West Godavari districts held a meeting here when they held the Government and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi responsible for creating conditions for the tribunal to come out with an award totally against the interests of the AP farmers.

The leaders of TDP, CPI and CPI(M) and farmers' associations were among those who were present and they threatened to launch a united agitation if the Government does not make strongest efforts now for a review of the tribunal award. The leaders expressed the apprehension that the award was going to turn 33 lakh acres in AP into near desert while it would affect drinking water supply even to Hyderabad. The award showed that the ruling Congress leaders from the State totally failed to protect the State's farmers' interests while their Karnataka counterparts got a better deal for their State at the cost of AP farmers, they said.

TDP state spokesperson Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, district unit president Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, CPM district secretary V. Umamaheswara Rao, farmers' leader Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao, TDP senior leader from Prakasam district Karanam Balaram, former MLA Maganti Babu, Rythu Samakhya leader Akkineni Bhavani Prasad and others.

Mr. Kodela Sivaprasada Rao said that the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal blindly went by the opportunistic stand taken by the Government on different irrigation projects without taking a realistic view of how to protect the interests of lower riparian state Andhra Pradesh considering the irregular inflows in the river from year to year. “As a lower riparian state, Andhra Pradesh suffers when there are no rains and also when there are floods. This is why the Bachawat Tribunal was in favour of a sympathetic deal to AP. The Brijesh Kumar Tribunal award was totally against this spirit,” he said.

Untenable

Mr. Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao and Mr. Bhavani Prasad said that it was untenable for the tribunal to give the award by increasing the quantity of assured which was detrimental to the interests of Andhra Pradesh farmers. They pointed out that scientists like M.S. Swaminathan had observed that going by the present climate change patterns, it would leave an impact on the availability of assured water.

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