Naidu, top party leaders detained

TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu and top leaders of the party, including over 25 MLAs, were on Tuesday taken into preventive custody.

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2012, 14:21 PM IST

Hyderabad: TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu
and top leaders of the party, including over 25 MLAs, were
on Tuesday taken into preventive custody as they were proceeding in
a rally to the electricity office here to protest hike in
power charges and erratic supply.

They were taken to Banjara Hills police station, where
they sat on a protest against their detention.

The former chief minister and his party leaders began the
rally from TDP state headquarters NTR Bhavan and were
proceeding towards the electricity office Vidyut Soudha at
Somajiguda when police blocked their way on Road No 3, Banjara
Hills.

There was a wordy duel between the TDP leaders and the
police as the latter tried to whisk them away in police vans.

After a 45-minute drama, the TDP leaders, including
Chandrababu, were taken to the Banjara Hills police station.

Naidu and other leaders including K Yerran Naidu, P
Ashoka Gajapathi Raju, T Devender Goud, S M Laljan Basha were
later released.

Talking to newsmen at the police station, the Leader of
Opposition lashed out at the state government for totally
"destroying" the power sector in the last seven years.

"In 2004, the state had surplus power thanks to a series
of reforms we had initiated. But now the state is reeling
under an acute power crisis, vastly affecting industrial
development and agriculture," Chandrababu said.

Moreover, the government has enhanced power charges,
imposing an additional burden to the tune of Rs 5000 crore.
Besides, another Rs 4500 crore was being levied as fuel
surcharge. The power distribution companies were in red as the
government owed them over Rs 16,000 crore, he said.

"Many small scale industries had closed down because of
erratic power supply and weekly power holiday. Even major
industries are being pushed into the red while the agriculture
sector is also the worst hit," Chandrababu alleged.

PTI