Thirty-five MLAs and six MLCs of the TDP hunkered down in the darkened conference hall of the chief minister’s office at Secretariat Monday night after Kiran Kumar Reddy called an abrupt end to a meeting with them and went home.
The impromptu dharna by the irked legislators was later scotched by policemen who forcibly shifted them to the MLA quarters.
As part of its agitation on the power crisis gripping the state, the delegation called on the chief minister to narrate to him the woes of the people owing to power cuts.
The chief minister heard them out and explained that he expected the crisis to ease up in two days as efforts were being made to secure more power from NTPC and coal from Coal India.
When the legislators continued to press the point, the chief minister said he had said all he had to say and went home.
Angry about being left hanging, the TDP legislators refused to leave the sixth floor conference hall and sat down in a dharna.
They said they would sit there all night in protest against the CM’s “irresponsible” behaviour.
To get them to leave, security staff of Secretariat switched off all the lights except some low-voltage lamps. But the ploy did not work. The police waited till 11.30 p.m. and then moved in. They rounded up the protesters into police vans and deposited them at the New MLA quarters.
In the process, Gali Muddu Krishnama Naidu fell from the jeep and sustained injuries. Mandava Venkateswara Rao also complained of giddiness and low sugar levels.
This latest gambit in embarrassment politics was thought up by the TDP after its boss, Chandrababu Naidu returned from his foreign trip and held a meeting with TDP MLAs Monday morning.
It was decided to go in a group to the chief minister and urge him to take steps to ease the power supply position in the state.
The TDP delegation was received by the chief minister in the conference hall.
While the TDP leaders alleged that the chief minister was short with them during the meeting, ministers called the whole thing a drama.
“The chief minster should have come back to Secretariat and given us an assurance on solving the power crisis,” TDP leader Y Babu Rajendra Prasad said.
Having gone to his camp office cum residence, the chief minister later went to Raj Bhavan for a meeting with the governor.