HYDERABAD:The Polavaram issue rocked the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Tuesday with the ruling Telugu Desam and the main opposition YSRC indulging in a war of words leading to disruption of the proceedings forcing Speaker Kodela Siva Prasad Rao to adjourn the House until Wednesday.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu lost his cool on a few occasions over YSRC leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy making allegations over the Pattiseema and Polavaram projects, which he said were baseless. He alleged YSRC leaders and its chief are shedding crocodile tears over the projects.
TDP and YSRC MLAs have been crossing swords in the Assembly but on Tuesday, Chandrababu Naidu and Jagan were seen in a direct confrontation. Naidu came down heavily on the YSRC saying their actions were detrimental to the interests of Andhra Pradesh.
“If Jagan has no idea about Polavaram and Pattiseema projects, first he should try to learn about them before speaking in the Assembly. This is not Idupulapaya or his Lotus Pond to speak whatever he wants,” a visibly angry Naidu said.
Jagan asked why the government is constructing the Pattiseema project when the Polavaram project is intended to serve the same purpose. “It is meant to benefit contractors,” he said.
Reacting sharply, Naidu replied that Telangana CM KCR is stating that we should take his permission to use the water going into sea and the YSRC leader is joining chorus with him, instead of defending AP.
The chief minister said that the government will not allow Jalayagnam to become ‘dhanayagnam’ and added that come what may the government would supply water for drinking and irrigation purposes from the the Pattiseema lift irrigation project.
The Pattiseema project was aimed at providing drinking and irrigation water to the Rayalaseema districts, mainly Anantapur and Chittoor.
Only the excess water, which was going into sea, will be diverted to the Krishna river basin through the Pattiseema project. Naidu announced that the government will ensure that the Polavaram project would be completed by 2018.
Since the completion of the Polavaram project will take five years, the proposed Rs 1,300 crore Pattiseema project will bridge the gap in providing water to Rayalaseema.
Trouble began when Chandrababu faulted the contents of a news report which appeared in Sakshi newspaper (owned by Jagan) on Tuesday saying that the paper management has not been maintaining ethics in running the paper.
The chief minister said that there was no truth in the report and it was published to tarnish the image of the state government and to send wrong signals to the people on the Polavaram project.
He said that the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) and officials of the Union Water Resources ministry who met in New Delhi on Monday recommended the Central Government to let the State government handle the Polavaram project activities to ensure its completion as per the time frame. It is for the state to monitor the project works and as and when funds are required for the project, the Central government would release them.
The report that appeared in Sakshi stated that the state government was creating hurdles to the project. Chandrababu demanded an unconditional apology from Jaganmohan Reddy on the accusations made in the report. Unless he announces an unconditional apology, he should not be allowed to speak, he said.
He said the track record of the TDP is to give a transparent and clean administration while the track record of the Congress and YSRC was that of corruption.
Reacting to it, Jaganmohan Reddy satirically said that he did not understand whether Chandrababu is delivering speech or giving clarifications. He has also expressed his opinion on other Telugu newspapers.
TDP members then raised slogans against the YSRC. While Jagan was speaking, TDP members demanded an unconditional apology from Jagan. YSRC members rushed to the Speaker’s podium and demanded that their leader be allowed to speak. They raised slogans of “CM down down”.
Speaker asked the members to resume their seats and when the members failed to heed his request, adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
After the proceedings resumed, when Jagan started speaking, TDP members continued their tirade against YSRC while TSCRP members too started raising slogans against TDP. As the ruckus continued for a while, Speaker Kodela adjourned the House for the day.