TDP chief arrested for hunger strike

Written by Political Bureau | Hyderabad | Updated: Dec 21 2010, 05:39am hrs
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu was arrested on charges of attempting suicide after he continued his hunger strike for the fourth day. Naidu, former Andhra Pradesh chief minister, is demanding higher compensation for flood-hit farmers.

The state had enhanced the compensation to Rs 600 per acre to pre-empt the strike by Naidu. However, the TDP chief went ahead with his hunger strike demanding that the state government concede the Rs 1,000 an acre compensation. Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, meanwhile, reiterated that his government is pro-farmer.

In a statement, Reddy said in spite of financial constraints, his government had announced the best possible relief package for farmers affected by the recent heavy rains. The government not only got the Centre relaxation for procurement of discoloured and damaged paddy at MSP but also decided to procure paddy up to 10% damage without any value cut.

Incidentally, support for Chandrababu Naidus fight `for justice to farmers is growing with the AIADMK and MDMK joining other major parties like CPI, CPM, JD (U) and JD (S) in extending solidarity to the fasting leader. MDMK leader Vaiko, AIADMK MP Sammali and CPM Politburo member Sitaram Yechury visited the fast camp this afternoon and expressed solidarity with Chandrababu. Vaiko too demanded that both the state and the central governments immediately pay Rs 10,000 per acre as compensation to farmers who lost their paddy crop and Rs 15,000 per acre for commercial crops like cotton and sugarcane.