Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: Farmers of the villages in Makavarapalem mandal in the district where Ras Al Khaima is planning to establish an alumina refinery and cogeneration plant are confused and worried over the way the agitation against the refinery is going on. They are not sure if the proposal for the factory is shelved and their lands remain with them.

On Wednesday the Telugu Desam called off its 55-day-old relay hunger strike at Makavarapalem in the presence of Joint Collector and Collector in-charge M. Veerabrahmaiah on being assured that a better relief and rehabilitation package would be given to them. This generated a lot of criticism against the party and Narsipatnam MLA Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu who actively participated in the agitation.

But on Thursday, mandal-level leaders of the party issued a statement in Narsipatnam stating that the agitation would continue and it was a mistake on the previous day to call off the agitation. TDP’s mandal president Suryanarayana and secretary Ruttala Yerra Patrudu also insisted that Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu was not way involved in winding up the relay hunger-strike camp.

The TDP would form land protection committees in every village where the process of land acquisition was on and prevent at any cost the take over the lands.

The farmers would be educated in this direction, the leaders said.But the agitation against the refinery witnessed from the beginning group rivalry in both the ruling Congress and the TDP and marked by Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu’s contradictory statements. While strongly opposing the refinery, he made statements like the farmers would not mind if the rehabilitation package was good or the refinery could be shifted to some other place. This made the people doubt if he is sincerely involved in the agitation.

There were also reports that mandal-level leaders met Mr. Patrudu on Wednesday morning before the hunger strike was called off. The left parties supported the agitation and were naturally upset that the relay hunger strike camp was called off. While Mr. Ayyanna Patrudu was making divergent statements, another group in the party led by an MLA was making efforts to undermine the Narsipatnam MLA.

It was believed that due to this group’s argument that the Makavarapalem agitation was weak that TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu did not come to the village to take part in the agitation. Instead senior leaders Devender Goud and Nagam Janardhana Reddy visited the place some time ago.