AP CM defends mining policy, amid opposition protest

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Hyderabad, Mar 13 (UNI) The issue of Bauxite mining rocked the Andhra Pradesh Assembly with Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy stoutly defending the government's industrial policy.

The issue later led to suspension of 26 members of the main opposition TDP, including leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu for obstructing proceedings and a walkout by members of CPI, CPI(M) and BJP.

During the heated exchanges, All India Congress Committee General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's visit to hill areas in support of agitating tribals against bauxite mining in Orissa echoed in the House, with the Chief Minister springing to Mr Gandhi's defence, even as Mr Naidu and other opposition party leaders accused the ruling Congress of adopting ''double standards'' by agitating in support of tribals in Orissa, but ''supressing'' the tribals' stir against bauxite extraction and Aluminium plant in Andhra Pradesh.

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