Naidu breaks ‘strategic silence’

Special Correspondent

TDP MPs to donate Rs. 5 crore towards relief and rehabilitation measures

‘NTR Trust did more than the government in reaching out to the needy’

HYDERABAD: Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday broke his strategic silence on criticising Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and said the latter was equally responsible for his Government’s blatant inaction in tackling floods.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Naidu said nothing reflected the collapse of the system than the way the wheel of the official helicopter got stuck in the mud and a poisonous snake surfaced close to the Chief Minister’s seat during his visit to the flood- hit areas.

“It is a lapse on the part of the officials. We would have lost all our reputation. We lost one Chief Minister in helicopter crash and we would have lost another if the snake had opened its fangs,” he said.

Demanding a thorough inquiry into Government lapses from delay in release of water from Srisailam dam to extending relief, he said it was a saga of failures and Ministers and officials should be held accountable. “I leave the mode of action, including of sacking of Ministers, to the Chief Minister.” He announced the party MPs decision to donate their MPLAD funds (Rs. 50 lakh each) working out to Rs. 5 crore for the relief and rehabilitation measures. This would be used for rehabilitation of people in the worst affected village after consulting the district Collectors. Sharing his experiences of his six-day tour of flood affected districts, he said people in the worst- hit Kurnool asked him why the Government failed to commission sufficient helicopters to rescue those caught in the floods when it could press into service 15 of them to carry out search operations soon after the former Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s helicopter went missing.