In a protest against the sand crisis in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam Party Chief N Chandrababu Naidu will undertake a day-long fast in Vijayawada on 14 November. The former Chief Minister announced his decision at the party observers’ meet held in Vijayawada on Tuesday.
Stating that about 35 lakh construction workers have been hit due to the sand scarcity across Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Naidu demanded the state government to bring in a free sand policy, similar to the one implemented during his regime. The TDP supremo further demanded that construction workers be paid an allowance of Rs 10,000 per month and Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia be announced to the families of the workers who committed suicide.
As per sources, the TDP is likely to ask other political parties to support their leader’s protest on 14 November.
The day-long fast by Chandrababu Naidu follows the recent long march in Visakhapatnam undertaken by JanaSena Party Chief Pawan Kalyan. Addressing the massive gathering that had turned up at the rally, Pawan Kalyan slammed the governance in the state. Giving the YSRCP-led Government a deadline of two weeks to address the sand crisis prevalent in Andhra Pradesh, the actor-turned-politician said he would launch a long march to Amaravati if the demands are not met.
It may be noted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too organised ‘sand satyagraha’ protesting the state government’s sand policy.
The ruling YSRCP though has dismissed the criticism. Describing the sand shortage as a temporary issue, Chief Minister YS Jagan assured that the crisis will be resolved once the floods recede in the state. The CM also stated that his government is keen on rectifying a corrupt system that was put into place during the previous TDP rule.