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Naidu, 21 other members suspended

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KEEPING UP THE TEMPO: TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu interacting with TDPP leader K. Yerran Naidu on Wednesday during a dharna staged by E. Dayakar Rao on the Babli issue. - Photo: Mohd. Yousuf
KEEPING UP THE TEMPO: TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu interacting with TDPP leader K. Yerran Naidu on Wednesday during a dharna staged by E. Dayakar Rao on the Babli issue. - Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

Special Correspondent

Sequel to obstructing House proceedings seeking debate on Babli

HYDERABAD: Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu and 21 other Telugu Desam legislators were suspended from the Assembly when they obstructed proceedings of the evening session on Wednesday demanding a debate on the Babli project.

They squatted near the podium of Speaker K. R. Suresh Reddy and refused to heed to his advice to raise the issue on Thursday. Mr. Suresh Reddy, who adjourned the House for ten minutes, amid din, had no choice but to suspend them as they remained unrelented even after its resumption.

Earlier in the day during question hour, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) members staged a walkout resenting Government inaction on Babli and a raw deal to irrigation projects in Telangana. Party floor leader G. Vijayarama Rao said there was no budgetary allocation for Pranahita - Chevella link project this year while Polavaram that was meant to irrigate coastal districts was allotted Rs. 1,000 crores.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy intervened to say that the TDP had no moral right to discuss irrigation projects as the party had neglected the sector in its nine-year rule.

He said the Congress Government would overcome all hurdles to create irrigation facilities for 12 lakh acres every year in future.

A remark by Dr. Reddy that Mr. Naidu failed to persuade the Centre to stop Alamatti dam when the latter was Chief Minister created a ruckus in the House.

The TDP demanded that Mr. Naidu be given an opportunity to respond to Dr. Reddy but the Speaker refused to oblige. He adjourned the House when TDP members continued shouting.

Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Laxmaiah informed the House that the detailed project report of Pranahita - Chevella project would be submitted by WAPCOS, a Central Government agency, in a few days.

He said 57 per cent of the expenditure on irrigation during Congress regime was in Telangana.

Addressing TDP MLAs after a walkout by the party on the controversy related to IIT, Mr. Naidu called upon farmers of five Telangana districts to gear up to launch an agitation against construction of Babli project by Maharashtra.

Mr. Naidu proceeded to Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises where party MLA E. Dayakar Rao staged a dharna protesting against Government's failure to stall construction of the project.

On Mr. Naidu's advice, Mr. Rao called off his protest. Leaders of the Left parties and TRS called on Mr. Rao to express solidarity.

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