YSR denies TDP charge on hydel project

HYDERABAD, MARCH 11. The Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, today expressed solidarity with farmers of Mahabubnagar district in their fight against the mini-hydel project near the Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) being built by his relative.

Dr. Reddy, however, ruled out any immediate action pending receipt of the report by the Technical Committee appointed to go into all its aspects. For the time being, Karnataka had been asked to stop work, he said.

Replying to a two-day debate on the issue in the Assembly today, Dr. Reddy admitted that the developer, Y.V. Subba Reddy, was his relative but denied having helped him in getting the project sanctioned when S.M. Krishna was the Karnataka Chief Minister as alleged by the Telugu Desam.

The project was cleared during the Telugu Desam rule. Dr. Reddy promised justice to farmers belonging to Kurnool and Mahabubnagar.

Noisy scenes

Uproarious scenes were witnessed during his hour-long reply as he took pot shots at the Leader of the Opposition, N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Agitated TDP members stormed the podium twice and staged a sit-in. They frequently interrupted Dr. Reddy as he had a dig at their deputy leaders — T. Devender Goud and N. Janardhan Reddy.

Dr. Reddy offered a judicial probe into Dr. Janardhan Reddy's allegation that he had influenced Mr. Krishna provided he agreed to quit politics if he was proved wrong.

Mr. Goud dared the Chief Minister to order a probe into the alleged misuse of Rs. 2,000 crores in irrigation tenders, and said that not one but all Telugu Desam members would quit politics if this was not proved. The Finance Minister, K. Rosaiah, rejected the demand saying that the tenders issue was cleared by the Supreme Court.

Dig at Naidu

The Chief Minister criticised Mr. Naidu for indulging in "character assassination" against him at the slightest instance.

He recalled how the latter had implicated him in 26 cases, and his son, Jaganmohan Reddy, in the suitcase bomb case.

Not satisfied, he got his son's name registered in FIR in the Paritala Ravindra murder case.

On the contrary, he did not utter a word against Mr. Naidu in spite of two criminal cases reported in the house of his brother-in-law and though Chittoor dairy was `ruined' for the sake of Heritage Foods owned by him.

He had maintained silence in the case relating to death of Pratyusha in which Mr. Goud's son was allegedly involved, he said.