The entire State should be declared ‘drought-hit’ and the Central government should sanction Rs. 10,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation, demanded the Opposition activists while staging a dharna in front of the sub-collector’s office as part of a joint agitation on Monday.

Leaders of the Telugu Desam, CPI, CPI (M), Praja Rajyam and Lok Satta parties participated in a dharna and submitted a common memorandum to the sub-collector.

Telugu Desam Party leaders Kadiyala Raghava Rao, Thumati Premnath, CPI leaders K. Subba Raju, S. Nageswara Rao, CPI (M) leaders V. Umamaheswara Rao, R. Raghu, Y. Kesava Rao, D. Kasinath, Praja Rajyam Party leader Gundapu Chandrasekhar and Lok Satta Party leader Koneru Basveswara Rao participated in the dharna.

Addressing the media, Mr. Raghava Rao found fault with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy for quipping about ‘rain god’ running away fearing the election of the Telugu Desam Party. “These are not words becoming of a Chief Minister. I request him to come to Krishna district and see the problems the people are facing,” he said.

CPI (M) Krishna district secretary V. Umamaheswara Rao said the drought had already claimed the lives of 132 farmers in the State. The drought in combination with the backbreaking prices was forcing people to commit suicides, he said.

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