TAMIL NADU

Naidu ridicules Cong. MLAs' threat to quit

HYDERABAD Aug. 26. The TDP president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, today ridiculed the threat by Congress MLAs of Krishna and Guntur districts to resign from the Assembly if the schedule for release of water to irrigate the Krishna delta was not announced by September 15.

``Why did they not think of resigning when their own partymen from Rayalaseema opposed the Pulichintla project. They also did not make any such threat when the Congress Government in Karnataka tried to increase unauthorisedly the height of Almatti Dam'', he said.

Addressing the valedictory function of the TDP's extended executive meeting, Mr. Naidu sought a reply from Congressmen to his question why the AICC president, Sonia Gandhi, did not utter a word when Andhra Pradesh was in distress due to the drought and ``illegal'' construction of irrigation projects by Karnataka. ``They have lost all moral right to criticise the State Government'', he said.

The TDP chief said the Congress was never known for consistency and tried to exploit every issue for narrow political gains. While its leaders in Krishna and Guntur district were demanding early release of water from Nagarjunasagar, those in Rayalaseema were vehemently opposing release of water from Srisailam reservoir until September 15.

Mr. Naidu said Congressmen must stop speaking in different voices since a political party must function like a family. He said the Government could not get trapped into the Congress party's political game since it had to prioritise the use of water resources. ``The Congress people will never raise a voice of protest against Karnataka but spare no effort to provoke people within the State. The TRS is no different,'' he remarked.

The State Government, he said, was closely monitoring the situation in Krishna river and would be guided solely by the interests of people at large instead of political considerations. Mr. Naidu expressed the hope that some of the present problems would be solved if there were good rains in the catchment area of Krishna basin in September.

The TDP president announced that the party would organise a mass contact programme, `Intitiki Telugu Desam' from September 12 to 16. During this five-day door-to-door campaign, party workers would explain the party's policies and rebut the Congress propaganda against the Government.

Describing the TDP's style of functioning as `a model' for other political parties in the country to follow, he said it had changed the definition of politics by its emphasis on good governance and taking all programmes to the people's doorstep unlike the Congress.

A poll among participants of today's meeting showed that 93 per cent felt that the TDP would get a comfortable majority in the next Assembly elections. Ninety two percent of them expressed satisfaction over Mr. Naidu's performance as Chief Minister.

Earlier, the meeting observed a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the twin blasts in Mumbai. Condemning the killings, the TDP chief said the perpetrators of the crime deserved no sympathy.

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