After hitting the streets over the issue of non-creation of Gadwal and Jangaon districts, Congress leaders in the state have decided to focus on the controversial policy being adopted by the TRS government for procuring land for construction of irrigation projects, particularly Mallanna Sagar, to revive their party’s electoral fortunes. As part of this, TPCC leaders who staged a dharna at Indira Park here on Sunday to express solidarity with the oustees of Mallanna Sagar who have been protesting for the past 100 days, will call on Governor ESL Narasimhan here on Monday to take the issue to his notice. Later, they will be petitioning President Pranab Mukherjee seeking justice to Mallanna Sagar oustees.
Showing a rare unanimity, party heavyweights such as S Jaipal Reddy and V Hanumantha Rao and former ministers like DK Aruna, Ponnala Lakshmaiah and Mohammed Ali Shabbir took part in the protest organised by their senior colleague Marri Sashidhar Reddy at Indira Park here. In the dharna, leaders including TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy vied with one another to hurl choicest invectives at the TRS dispensation. They went to the extent of comparing the present government with that of oppressive regimes of British and Razakars.
Taking part in the sit-in programme, TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy said, “Construction of Mallanna Sagar Dam is a classic example of the state government conniving with contractors for commissions.” According to him, engineers and experts felt that only a small sump at Mallanna Sagar is enough to irrigate the area but state government resorting to construct a 50 TMC water reservoir for the sake of helping contractors.
“The way the State government is trying to acquire fertile lands for various projects, undermining the views of local farmers, shows its authoritarian nature. This government has surpassed the British and Razakars in adopting oppressive policies,” P Lakshmaiah alleged. Shabbir Ali said it was insane on the part of State government to allow submergence of fertile lands which were yielding two crops.
V Hanumantha Rao accused the TRS government of forcible land acquisition without paying adequate compensation to the outsees. He said instead of implementing Land Acquisition Act, 2013, the government is forcing the farmers to surrender their lands under GO 123. “We condemn the imposition of Section 144 and Section 30 (A) in Mallanna Sagar areas for the last 50 days. We will meet Governor Narasimhan on Monday to complain about violation of democratic rights,” DK Aruna said.