ANDHRA PRADESH

Cong. seeks special Assembly session on drought

HYDERABAD Oct. 5. The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) has demanded a brief three-day session of the Assembly to discuss the grim drought situation.

An emergency meeting of the CLP presided over by its leader Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on Saturday described the relief package announced by the Government as inadequate.

Briefing reporters later, the CLP secretary, G. Chinna Reddy, said Dr. Reddy spoke to the Speaker, K. Pratibha Bharathi, and stressed the urgency of a short session to discuss the relief measures. She is believed to have asked the CLP to give an appropriate notice for the session.

Mr. Chinna Reddy said the CLP had urged the Government to ensure nine-hour power supply to agriculturists to save standing crops in two spells -- six hours in the morning and three hours in the evening.

It also demanded that collection of loans and other dues from farmers be immediately stopped and the exemption of fee for students of the drought-affected mandals be extended up to post-graduate courses.

The Government should take urgent steps to supply seed and fodder to farmers and drinking water should be given priority. The party also demanded a compensation of Rs. one lakh to the kin of farmers who committed suicide.

If the Government did not agree to a short session of the Assembly, an all- party meeting would be held to discuss the future course of action, Mr. Chinna Reddy said.

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