Naidu continues fast, chief minister to call all-party meet
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu continued his indefinite fast for the seventh day Thursday while the Andhra Pradesh government promised to call an all-party meeting to consider his demands for a relief package to farmers who lost their crops in the recent rains.
Despite his serious condition, the former chief minister continued with his fast and refused to take any intravenous fluids at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), causing concern to his family and party.
To protest the government’s silence over their leader’s demand, the TDP with the support of the Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India-Marxist began road blockades across the state.
The protesters stopped buses and other vehicles on the highways.
Police arrested dozens of opposition activists for damaging buses and causing obstructions on roads.
Agitated over the health of their leader, a group of TDP legislators Wednesday night tried to stop Chief Minister Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy’s convoy after he attended a function at the Jubliee Hall in the Public Garden here.
The security personnel had closed the main gates of the Public Garden to prevent the legislators from barging in. The chief minister left the venue from the other gate.
The angry TDP legislators later reached the chief minister’s camp office to meet him. Kiran Kumar promised to convene an all-party meeting to consider Naidu’s 20-point demands.
Doctors at the NIMS have already warned Naidu against continuing the fast, saying this could lead to serious health complications. The leader of opposition has rejected the appeals by his family and party leaders to call off the fast.
The state government has claimed that it has already announced the best possible package to farmers who suffered losses due to recent rains.
Naidu was arrested and shifted to hospital Monday, four days after he launched the fast, demanding the government declare the crops loss a national calamity, compensation of Rs.10,000 per acre for food crops and Rs.15,000 per acre for commercial crops.