Special Correspondent

Says 500 ryots have died in 3 months

HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam party president N. Chandrababu Naidu is believed to have virtually given a call to party cadre to get ready for the 2009 Assembly elections.

At a party meeting, Mr. Naidu asked leaders to take the first step of constituting constituency-level committees, with the sole purpose of working for elections, clearly two years away. He is stated to have driven home the point that elaborate preparations should start right away.

He urged them to sink their differences and work for the party unitedly. He reminded them that the party had a glorious history of 25 years and was in power for most part of this period. It was time not only to look at past achievements but also to introspect and rectify any mistakes that were committed.

Charge against CMO

Earlier in his inaugural address to partymen, he alleged that the Chief Minister's office (CMO) had become the fulcrum of corruption and that all scandals had their roots there.

During the three year-rule of Congress Government, it could not achieve anything. All those who were in Government worked for "individual gain and had welfare of their own kith and kin in mind and of not people".

Criticising the `anti-people' policies of the Government, he alleged that 500 farmers and handloom weavers have either committed suicide or died of starvation during the last three months in the State.

Godavari diversion

Earlier, senior leaders of the party from Telangana region on Monday warned the Government against going ahead with its move to divert 140 tmc Godavari water from Dummugudem to the tail pond of Nagarjuna Sagar in the Krishna river basin.

Addressing a press conference, senior TDP leaders T. Devender Goud and Kadiam Srihari alleged that the Government was planning to give administrative sanction to this project that amounts to deceiving the people of Telangana region.

After depriving the region of the assured Krishna water, the Government wants to take away the Godavari river water too, the only dependable source now. "This is not acceptable and we will oppose it tooth and nail", they declared.

They demanded that the Government first make use of the assured Godavari water in the backward Telangana region before transferring it to the Krishna basin. In this context, it would be for the Government to adhere to its promise of coming up with a comprehensive irrigation policy.