Opposing illegal dam construction is our right: Naidu
New Delhi: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday said it was his right to oppose the "illegal dam construction" over Godavari river, dismissing allegations that he was using the Babhali dam issue for political gains. He added that he would be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"We oppose the illegal dam construction over river Godavari. It is our right as the illegal construction affects the lives of people in our state. Then how will it become a political issue?" Naidu told a news agency when asked about Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's allegations.
"I will meet the PM at 5 pm," Naidu told reporters outside Parliament.
Chavan had termed as "political" and "unnecessary" Naidu's march to Nanded in Maharashtra for which he was taken into police custody.
"Naidu's actions are political as assembly by-elections have been declared in the neighbouring state (Andhra Pradesh)," Chavan had earlier told reporters after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi here.
Meanwhile, Janata Dal-Secular leader and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda and AIADMK leader M. Thampi Durai met Naidu at the TDP office in parliament house and discussed the strategy for a joint move in parliament against alleged illegal mining the Reddy brothers in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, "illegal construction" of Babhali dam in Maharashtra and the 2G spectrum allocation scam allegedly involving IT and Communication Minister A Raja.
"We (TDP) have the support of the JD-S and AIADMK and the Left parties in our fight against the illegal construction of Babhali dam across the Godavari river in Maharashtra by the Congress government," said Naidu.
Andhra Pradesh has been protesting the construction of the Babhali dam, which it says is being built in violation of the river water sharing agreements and would prove detrimental to its interests.
The row over the Babhali dam had created tension last week when Maharashtra Police arrested Naidu and 74 other TDP leaders while they were proceeding towards the dam. They remained in judicial custody for four days before being forcibly sent back to Hyderabad by a chartered flight.
TDP leader Nama Nageshwara Rao told the agency that the TDP, JD-S and the AIADMK, with the support of the Left parties, have decided to put up a joint front in parliament.
"We had met CPI (Communist Party of India) leader AB Bardhan and discussed the issues. We will also meet CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat," Rao said.