He undertakes gruelling tour of cyclone-hit areas
TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday batted for waiver of farm loans in the cyclone affected areas in the State.
“It (loan waiver) will be the first file which I will sign soon after swearing in as the Chief Minister, if I come to power in the next elections,” the TDP chief promised while addressing impromptu public gatherings during his whistle-stop visits in the cyclone-ravaged areas in Narsapur, Palacol and Yalamanchili mandals in West Godavari district. The gloom-hit faces of the victims and the flattened paddy fields due to the swirling gales induced by the Cyclone Helen greeted Mr. Naidu all along his gruelling trip that meandered through the dusty and narrow roads in the countryside.
In his hard-hitting speeches, tinged with the election-even politics, the TDP leader sought to portray Chief Minister N. Kirankumar Reddy as a ‘lame duck’ and the ‘most in capable Chief Minister’ he had ever seen.
He even sought to blame the government for allegedly lacking foresight in handling cyclones, resulting in the trail of devastation caused by one calamity after the other in the current year and its alleged miserable failure in completing the delta modernisation project.
Had the government ensured timely release of the water from the canals for the kharif in the Krishna and the Godavari delta systems, the agricultural crops and farmers would have been saved from the cyclones, Mr. Chandrababu said.
Even as October and November were prone to cyclones, the paddy harvest was getting delayed up to January due to release of the canal water much behind the schedule in the kharif, he added.
A number of farmers complained to Mr. Chandrababu Naidu about the reported uncertainty over the rabi prospects in the Godavari delta. Chilukuri Anjaneyulu, former leader of the Water Users Association (WUA) at Yalamanchili, interacting with Mr. Naidu, apprehended that the farmers in the delta were likely to forego rabi in view of crop holiday proposed by the administration to facilitate execution of the delta modernisation works.
“We are totally ruined in the kharif. If we lose rabi also, how will we survive,” he questioned. The women folks raised a hue and cry over the devastating impact of mushrooming belt shops (unauthorised liquor outlets) on peace and economy of their families.