Correspondent

Say that the Rs. 300-cr. Tarakarama project is unviable

  • Five CPI(M) leaders arrested at different places
  • Rythu sangham, CPI(M) leaders condemn arrests

    VIZIANAGARAM: In a bid to scuttle the dharna by farmers led by the Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangham and the CPI(M) at the Collectorate here on Friday, the police swooped on CPI(M) leaders at Kothvalasa, Pachipenta, Salur and Gajapathinagaram and arrested five of them - T. Suryanarayana, Appala Raju, Rakoti Ramu, Korada Eswara Rao and Gorle Srinu.

    Undeterred by the police action, a large number of farmers led by rythu sangham president B. Rambabu and secretary M. Suryanarayana staged a dharna, demanding that the government complete pending minor irrigation projects at an estimated cost of Rs. 50 crores instead of spending Rs. 300 crores on unviable Tarakarama Theertha Sagar project.

    Memo submitted

    If the pending projects were completed, not less than 40,000 acres would get irrigation facility, Mr. Suryanarayana said. They submitted a memorandum to District Revenue Officer U.C.G. Nageswara Rao.

    Later, Mr. Suryanarayana and CPI(M) leaders S. Punyavathi and Ch. Rajeswar Rao, at a press conference, condemned the arrests and said that the government was intolerant to protest demonstrations against its policies and programmes.

    They said that party district committee secretary M. Krishna Murty was arrested last month after framing charges against him in connection with protest demonstrations at Peddageda reservoir project in September last year and at Tarakarama Theertha Sagar project site last month. He was not even granted bail, they said. "Where is the need to arrest partymen when they are raising people's problems and staging peaceful demonstrations?" Mr. Suryanaryana asked.