Hyderabad/Mumbai: The Babhli barrage
issue intensified today with the Maharashtra government
refusing to allow Chandrababu Naidu to visit the site even as
the judicial custody of the TDP chief and 74 others was
extended till July 26 after they declined to accept bail.
"The former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and his
delegation would not be allowed to visit the Babhli barrage,"
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said in Mumbai after a high-level
meeting held at Mantralaya to review the situation ahead ofthe
Nanded bandh tomorrow.
The bandh call has been given by the Babhli Kriti
Sangarsh Samiti demanding immediate shifting of Naidu from
Dharmabad viewing his presence as a threat to law and order
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah had yesterday
urged Chavan to let the Telugu Desam Party team led by Naidu
to visit the controversial Babhli barrage.
Naidu refused to budge from his stand saying he will
not return to Andhra Pradesh unless he was allowed to visit
the Babhli project site.
Naidu and the 74 TDP activists were arrested on July
16 for violating prohibitory orders when they sought to visit
the Babhli project site on river Godavari.
TDP alleges that the project being built `illegally`
by the Maharashtra government is detrimental to the interests
of Telangana region.
The Nanded magistrate extended the period of judicial
custody of Naidu and others till July 26 after they refused to
accept bail while insisting that they be allowed to visit the
The Babhli barrage issue rocked the Maharashtra
Legislature today with both Houses being adjourned for the
day without transacting any business after protests over
Naidu allegedly "politicising" the issue.
As soon as the Assembly met after a weekend recess,
opposition members trooped into the Well holding placards
demanding that Naidu be sent back to his state.
Rail and road services were disrupted in Andhra Pradesh
due to TDP-spearheaded bandh to protest the arrest of Naidu,
who began a hunger strike to protest against Maharashtra
government stopping him from visiting the site.
TDP Rajya Sabha member Nandamuri Harikrishna was taken
into custody near the AP-Maharashtra border when he tried to
proceed to Dharmabad to meet Naidu and other partymen.
Several TDP, CPI and CPM leaders were also detained as
they staged rail and road blockades in various parts of Andhra
Sporting black badges, TDP leaders garlanded the
statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Dharmabad ITI premises before
launching the fast.
The bandh drew mixed response as businesses remained
closed in various parts of AP while in Hyderabad party workers
damaged some RTC buses.
At Narsapur in Medak district, TDP workers took out a
`funeral procession` with the effigy of Maharashtra Chief
Minister Ashok Chavan to register their protest.
In Vijayawada and Warangal too several TDP supporters
were arrested for stopping trains.
At Ghanpur station in Warangal district, TDP workers
stopped the Secunderabad-bound Golconda Express for a few
minutes while at Gadwal in Mahbubnagar district, the
Tungabhadra Express was detained by the protestors.
Official sources said Naidu may be shifted to
Ahmednagar central jail and other TDP leaders including MPs
and MLAs to Nashik and Aurangabad central jails respectively.