Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
After several Congress members displayed placards with photographs of the fluoride-affected people of Nalgonda when they met the Governor recently, the Minister for Panchayat Raj, N. Janardhan Reddy, added fuel to the din by blaming the successive Congress regimes for failing to solve the problem.
``You have no right to blame the TDP Government after being in power for over 30 years and not tackling the issue effectively,'' Dr. Reddy told the agitated Congress members.
The Minister's description of the Congress protest as `cinematic' and `dramatic' brought forth a strong reaction from the Leader of the Opposition, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
Dr. Reddy stuck to the party demand for scrapping of GO 70 (on tapping water from the Akkampalli reservoir for Twin Cities) and expeditious completion of the Rs. 147-crore Nalgonda project to tide over the serious fluoride problem.
He described the Minister's claims of spending hundreds of crores during the last decade to meet the water needs of people, including those in Hyderabad, as hollow as the funds were either borrowed from outside or provided by the Central Government.
The Opposition leader wanted the Government to agree to the demands of Congress legislator from Nalgonda, K. Venkat Reddy, and the Nalgonda Municipal Chairman, who are both on an indefinite fast for over a week.
The Minister refused to entertain the demands, charging the Congress with attempting to politicise the issue, keeping in view the Assembly elections slated for 2004.
P. Govardhan Reddy (Cong.), C. Parthasaradhi (BJP), N. Narasimhaiah (CPI(M)), S. Venkateswar Rao (TDP), Gopal (Cong.), Sivaram (TDP), Rajalingam, M.V. Mysoora Reddy (both Cong.) participated in the debate.
While the Congress members criticised the TDP Government for not taking timely action to solve the problem, the treasury benches and the BJP turned the tables on the Congress. They refuted the criticism, asserting that, in fact, the Congress should take the blame for the delay in executing the projects.
Ministers, T. Nageswara Rao, K.Srihari and Uma Madhava Reddy intervened to refute the Congress contention.
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