Congress stages walkout on Sileru project

  • TRS blames Jairam Ramesh for the loss
  • War of words between Harish and Chinna Reddy
  • Pandemonium in TS Assembly

HYDERABAD: The denial of due share of power from  Lower Sileru Hydro Electric Project to Telangana State consequent to the merger of seven mandals of Khammam district in the residuary AP State triggered off heated exchanges between the  TRS and Congress members throwing the State Assembly into pandemonium on Monday.

Trouble broke out in the House during question hour when Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao replying to a question on the issue squarely blamed the Congress party for the Telangana State foregoing its due share of power from the Lower Sileru Project in preventing the merger of seven mandals of Bhadrachalam division with the AP State at the time passage of Reorganization Bill in parliament.

Taking strong objection to the TRS government’s charge, the Congress members stormed into the podium and then staged a walk out from the House in protest.

Earlier replying to the main question of Congress members Batti Vikramarka, Ajay Kumar and others, the Minister for Irrigation agreed about the existence of a dispute with regard to power sharing from Lower Sileru project and that the Godavari River Management Board had sought the Central Government’s intervention for resolving the issue.

Posing supplementary questions in this regard, the Congress member Ajay Kumar, who represents Khammam district, expressed anguish and concern over the denial of due power share from the project, which generated power at a very low cost what with the availability of water for 11 months. He wanted to know the total generation of power for the past nine months in the project and the share lost for Telangana State. He also blamed Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for not leading an all-party delegation to Delhi as promised to resolve the issue with the central government.

Responding to the Congress member’s charges, the Minister for Irrigation claimed that it was the then Congress regime, especially the then Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh, that was  responsible for the present woes of Telangana State . He pointed out that Jairam Ramesh who was entrusted by Sonia Gandhi  the job of framing  the AP Reorganization Bill, 2013 for introduction in parliament, had proposed the merger of seven mandals from Bhadrachalm into AP. Unfortunately the Congress members who did not protest against this are now raising a hue and cry about it, he quipped.

Harish Rao further alleged that the AP State was continuously violating the provisions of the Reorganization Act and creating hurdles to the Telangana State. as a matter of fact the Neeraja Committee was constituted for the purpose of resolving the problem over sharing of power and the final report is yet to be submitted, he explained and wondered why the Congress party was not raising the matter in parliament and voicing its protest to force the Central Government to resolve the problem.

The Leader of the BJP Dr Laxman also lashed out at the Congress members of crying foul now while it was their own union minister then who had drafted the reorganization Bill and made the Telangana State to forego the seven mandals. CPI Member Rajaiaj, who represents Bhadrachalam, bemoaned that by merger into AP of the seven mandals of the division the people, especially the tribals, were virtually rendered orphan as they were at a loss to understand as to which state they should depend on for getting their problems resolved.

The Minister for Irrigation reiterated his charge against the Congress party for the present problems being faced by the Telangana State and asserted that the TRS Government would leave no stone unturned in taking up the matter with the Central Government, if necessary it would also take an all-party delegation, to Delhi

The Congress members vociferously protested against the remarks of the Minister for Irrigation holding the then Union Minister Jairam Ramesh responsible for merger of the mandals and for making Telangana State forego Sileru power.The party member G.Chinna Reddy quipped that the TRS did not raise its voice against of seven mandals of Bharachalm into AP. In fact KCR himself had stated that achieving Telangana State is more important than losing seven mandals, he quipped triggering a loud protests from TRS members. This led to heated exchanges between both the sides throwing the House into pandemonium

Amidst the din the Congress stormed into the well and began to express their strong objection to the remarks of the TRS members. On the advice of the Speaker, the Congress members went back to their seats and Chinna Reddy conveyed strong protest against the Irrigation Minister’s attitude in blaming the Congress instead of coming out with relevant answers. Later the Congress members staged a walk out.

BJP floor leader Dr K Lakshman accused the Congress of double standards. He demanded the TRS Government to lead an all party delegation to the Centre against the merger of seven mandals in to the AP State. Lakshman rebutted Harish for alleging that BJP has  a nexus with AP Government to include the seven mandals much to the chagrin of the people of Khammam district. We are ready to exert pressure on the Centre to protect the interests of the people of the region, Lakshman stated.  (NSS)

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