The 26 legislators and 2 MPs of Telugu Desam Party called off their indefinite hunger strike after the intervention of Ms. Bhuvaneswari, wife of TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday evening. They were left with no option after the police swooped down on their camp at the Old MLA Quarters at 1.30 a.m. and forcibly removed them.
Ms. Bhuvaneswari visited the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) where they were shifted and offered them lime juice around 9 a.m. Earlier, Mr. Naidu spoke on phone to the legislators from East Godavari district where he is on a padayatra.
Barring Mr. Mandava Venkateswara Rao, Ms. Satyavathi Rathod, Ms. G. Sudha Rani and Ms. D. Anasuya, all the others walked out of the hospital later. The four of them stayed back for further treatment as their condition turned bad after four days of fasting.
The leaders then proceeded to the office of the A. P. Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) in Singareni Bhavan to press their demand against increase in power tariff. Commission chairman A. Raghotham Rao told them that safeguards were built into the tariff order not to burden the poor. He, however, declined to go into the contents of the order since it was not made public by then.
Mr. Rao said the Commission had taken into consideration objections in public hearing on tariff hike but it was not possible to accommodate all the objections, he added.
Ex-Minister G. Muddukrishnama Naidu drew his attention to the burden caused on consumers on account of implementation of merchant power policy.
Mr. Revanth Reddy said the SCs were so angry that they wanted to lodge complaint against the government under provisions of atrocities legislation.
The MLAs then left for Assembly where they paid floral tributes to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and held an emergency meeting of the legislature party. Party whip D. Narendra Kumar said it was decided to support the State-bandh called by Left parties to focus power problem on April 9.