OTHERS

CM asks naxals to join mainstream

HYDERABAD, NOV. 1. The Chief Minister, Mr.N. Chandrababu Naidu, has once again appealed to naxalites to give up their militant path and join the mainstream of society, thereby helping the Government in the development of the State.

Addressing the Andhra Pradesh Formation Day Parade at the Tank Bund here on Thursday, Mr. Naidu cited naxalism and factionalism in Rayalaseema districts as major hurdles in the path of development.

He also utilised the occasion to assure special efforts by his Government to develop the backward areas of the State.

He said the activities of naxalites and factionalists caused great hardship to the people and posed a major law and order problem to the Government. It was futile on the part of the naxalites to dream of achieving anything through the barrel of gun, he said.

The Chief Minister listed out a number of irrigation schemes under implementation, adding that the Devadula project was a major lift irrigation scheme ever undertaken on river Godavari. His Government was committed to complete the project. Also, the execution of the Madhava Reddy Canal on river Krishna which is another important lift irrigation scheme, was proof of the Government's commitment to develop the backward areas.

He also announced that a movement against untouchability was launched all over the State today and the Government was determined to eradicate the scourge. The system of two glasses (discrimination against Dalits in hotels) and denial of temple entry to Dalits were still in vogue, he regretted.

Mr. Naidu said the recurrence of cyclones, floods and drought at regular intervals during the last six years had cast an additional burden on his Government. The Central Government had helped the State with `Food for work' programme but additional aid is now sought to face the situation caused by flash floods. Besides natural calamities, his Government had to grapple with the law and order problems.

Yet, there was no let-up in developmental activity. A massive poverty alleviation programme, involving an external assistance of Rs 2500 crores in two phases was taken up. The programme would cover 40 lakh families in 700 mandals in the next four to five years. A similar programme involving an outlay of Rs 745 crores was taken up covering 32 towns.

Mr. Naidu said the State had achieved a record foodgrain production of 160 lakh tonnes and notched up the third place in industrial growth in the country. A gap ayacut of ten lakh acres was brought under irrigation besides a fresh ayacut of five lakh acres in the last five years. The target for rice procurement this year was 80 lakh tonnes.

Earlier, the Chief Minister reviewed an impressive parade organised on the picturesque Tank Bund and witnessed colourful cultural programmes staged by schoolchildren. Students of Keyes High School for Girls, Unique High School, St Martins High School in Ranga Reddy and Dominics High School presented a variety programme The dance ballet by the inmates of Sweekar Rehabilitation Institute for Handicapped, Picket, drew the appreciation of a large gathering.

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