Minister seeks apology from Naidu

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Hyderabad, Feb 5 (UNI) Taking strong objection to Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu dragging the high constitutional office of Governor to confront the ruling Congress with ''baseless corruption charges'', Andhra Pradesh Major Irrigation Minister P Lakshmaiah today demanded that the former Chief Minister tender an apology to the people of the state.

Denying corruption in major irrigation projects worth over Rs 1,30,000 crore taken up by the Government, he contended at a press conference here that Mr Naidu was in the 'habit' of laying foundation stone for the same irrigation projects again and again, while allowing over 3000 to 4000 tmc water going waste into the sea.

Referring to the expose by Tehelka.com, he said it was Mr Naidu, who was ''synonymous with corruption''. At a time when over 1,000 mandals were gripped by severe drought, Ministers in the previous TDP rule had ''eaten away the rice allocated by the Centre for public distribution,'' the Minister alleged.

On the other hand, the Congress Government had started the ''Jalayaganam'' to provide irrigation facilities to over one crore acres of land, he added.

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