J. B. S. Umanadh

Sangareddy: Former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu on his 57th birthday on Friday distributed sarees to poor women and fruits to students of a madarasa.

He also consoled the bereaved family of a sugarcane farmer . Mr. Naidu who decided to spend time with farmers of Zaheerabad constituency was accorded a grand welcome by Medak TDP leaders -- Batti Jagapathi, Mutyam Reddy and Babu Mohan -- at Sangareddy cross roads. Even though the programme started almost two hours behind the schedule, party workers waited patiently on the 70 km stretch to Yelgoi, the last village in Mr. Naidu's programme.

Mr. Naidu, who visited sugarcane fields near Machunoor spoke to Ramreddy, a farmer, and enquired about the reasons for the delay in harvesting his crop.

Later, speaking to the media, he fumed at the Government's apathy and said that the crops had been standing there from last February and were so dried that the farmer had no alternative than burning it, as it would cost to cut the cane.

He then asked the State Government to pay a compensation of Rs. 500 per tonne. He then stopped at Bardipur and spoke to farmers who complained to him that the Trident Sugar Mill in Zaheerabad was taking cane from rich farmers. Mr. Naidu addressing the villagers from the top of vehicle termed the Congress Government in the State and the Centre as anti-poor.

Ex gratia

Concluding his birthday at Yelgoi, Chandrababu Naidu met the family members of the Chakali Dasarath, who committed suicide and consoled his parents and wife.

He announced that one of her three children would be admitted to a TDP-run school.

He then asked the Government to announce an ex gratia of Rs. 3 lakhs to Dasarath's kin and harvesting of the left over cane, free of cost under the ongoing NREG programme in the district.

On his way back to Hyderabad, Mr. Naidu had his supper with the villagers in Huggelli and launched a mega health camp in Sadasivapet.