Praja Rajyam president K Chiranjeevi has charged the Congress and Telugu Desam regimes with indulging in `match-fixing’ that resulted in exploitation of natural gas reserves in Krishna-Godavari basin by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC).
TDP president N Chandrababu who was in power when the bids for D 6 block were first called in 1999, failed to put in place the required infrastructure. Mr. Naidu's complacency in handling the issue helped the Gujarat State Government in successfully bidding for the K-G basin. "Mr. Naidu silently watched the State’s resources being plundered by outsiders," he said.
The present Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy too maintained stoic silence on the issue. The Congress and TDP indirectly paved the way for RIL and GSPC to virtually mint money from the K-G basin, Mr. Chiranjeevi charged.
Addressing a press conference before staging a protest demonstration in front of the RIL’s on-shore terminal at Gadimoga here on Saturday, Mr. Chiranjeevi said though the Parliament was likely to endorse the RIL’s case through a resolution, MPs who had vested interests would have to face the people’s anger. While the TDP and Congress confined themselves to making statements on the State’s right over the gas reserves, the PRP went a step ahead with Saturday’s agitation.
The Central Government ought to give at least 50 per cent share in the natural gas discovered in D 6 block of K-G basin to Andhra Pradesh and meet the local needs. The PRP was determined to fight till the demands of the fishermen and other weaker sections of Gadimoga and adjoining villages were met. In spite of its assurances in public hearings held earlier, the RIL did little to safeguard their livelihoods.
Mr. Chiranjeevi lamented that the Chief Minister could not leverage his clout with the UPA to secure State’s interest in the K-G basin despite sending maximum number of MPs. There were few instances of MPs from Tamil Nadu failing in getting things done for their State. "Why have the Congress MPs from the State not succeeded in the State's justified share?" Mr. Chiranjeevi sought to know.
The PRP president said that Justice Jagannadha Rao Committee probing the matter relating to missing gold ornaments and other valuables from the treasury of Tirumala temple should question all the officers and staff instead of confining itself to some OSDs who were already facing corruption charges. Steps should be taken to see that there were no politicians or people with political affiliations on the TTD Board as it gave scope for such scandals.
Senior PRP leaders C Ramachandraiah, Kotagiri Vidyadhara Rao, Kotthapalli Subbarayudu, Metla Satyanarayana Rao, Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Jyotula Nehru, MLAs K Kannababu, Vanga Geeta, Bandaru Satyananda Rao and P Gandhi Mohan, party spokespersons J Gowtam and Vasireddi Padma and others were present.