People welcomed Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister M. Mahidhar Reddy with protests on his first visit to the city on Saturday.

Women led by CPI(M) city sectary Ch. Babu Rao obstructed the movement of his convoy on the premises of the VGTMUDA office. They gheroaed him seeking solution to the problems being faced in the city.

Stating that the VMC was pushed into a debt trap after it implemented the JNNURM programme, they demanded that the government release dues to the corporation and pay salaries of employees through the treasury.

They reeled out problems associated with hike in power, diesel, and petrol prices.

The protesters opposed the steep hike in the power tariff and fuel adjustment charges being levied on consumers.

The Minister tried to convince them saying he was not Minister for Power. The women gave vent to their anger saying he was part of the government and a Minister in the Cabinet.

The Minister received a memorandum requesting the government to roll back the power tariff hike, and assured them that he would take their concern to the notice of the Cabinet. An argument ensued between the Minister and the CPI (M) activists when the former said there were no dues to the corporation. Mr. Babu Rao alleged that the officials were misleading him on the dues to the corporation.