ANDHRA PRADESH

TDP protests against Naidu's arrest

CUDDAPAH, MARCH 17. Telugu Desam Party activists staged a dharna in front of the NTR statue here on Thursday decrying the arrest of the party president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, and MLAs in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Party leaders -- K. Sivananda Reddy, R. Ramesh Kumar Reddy, S. Goverdhan Reddy and P. Brahmaiah -- and others squatted before the statue after garlanding it and raised slogans against the Government and the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The international airport at Shamshabad was sanctioned due to the efforts of the previous Telugu Desam Government, but the Congress Government named it after the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, the leaders alleged.

They recalled that several parks were developed in Hyderabad and named after former Chief Ministers, including those of Congress, in recognition of their services to the State.

The Rajasekhara Reddy Government was naming most its schemes after Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, they alleged. Ignoring NTR's name for the airport amounted to belittling Telugu people, they said.

They took objection to the arrest of Mr. Naidu and TDP MLAs, who staged a peaceful protest.

Others who took part in the dharna included L. Subbalakshmamma, G. Lakshmi Reddy, V.S. Ameer Babu, S. Subhan Basha, K. Ramesh Babu, P. Manohar Reddy and L. Madhusudan Reddy.

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