TDP chief seeks PM’s intervention in Babhli project issue

Last Updated: Sunday, July 25, 2010 - 20:08

New Delhi: TDP Sunday accused the Central
government of ignoring Andhra Pradesh by doing nothing to
prevent Maharashtra from going ahead with the Babhli project
despite directives from Supreme Court and Central Water
Commission.

Addressing a press conference here five days after he was
taken back to his state by Maharashtra authorities following
his protest at the Babhli site, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu
said the Centre has to "come into the picture" and direct
Maharashtra to stop work at the Babhali barrage in Nanded
district.

"Chavan is going ahead with the project for his political
gains," he alleged.

An all-party delegation from Andhra Pradesh will be
meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow demanding his
intervention in the issue.

Naidu said the Central Water Commission had twice
directed Maharashtra not to go ahead with the project till a
final decision is taken.

"Also, the Supreme Court had directed Maharashtra not to
construct 13 gates of the barrage until further orders, though
it can go ahead with the Babhali barrage. Chavan is saying
there is no such orders. This is contempt of court," he
charged.

Despite these directions, Naidu claimed, the Centre was
not intervening. "Is it not the Central government`s duty to
ensure that the directives of Supreme Court and Central Water
Commission are not violated?" he asked.

He also sought to clear the air on allegations that he
was raising the issue with an eye on the July 27 by-polls to 12
Assembly constituencies in the Telangana region.

"Election is not a big issue. Elections come and go. For
the last six years, we are fighting on this issue. Then, there
were no elections. Bypolls have no link with us raising the
issue," he said.

On being arrested on July 16 for trying to visit the
project site, Naidu said, "There is no need to get a visa to
visit Maharashtra. It is in India. If one goes there to
collect first-hand information, what is wrong in it.”

"They (Maharashtra Police) cheated us. They came to
the Andhra border and said they will take us to the project
site. We sat in their bus and they took us to ITI campus where
they said we were arrested," he said.

PTI




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