CPI, CPI(M) members stage walkout in AP Assembly

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Hyderabad, Mar 27 (UNI) Members of the CPI and the CPI(M) today staged a walkout in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly while the main opposition TDP and the Janata Party registered their protest over the ''delay'' in taking up drinking water projects in fluoride-affected areas.

Dissatisfied with Rural Water Supply Minister P Venkateswara Rao's reply to a question raised by Mr Chada Venkat Reddy (CPI) and other CPI members during Question Hour that the Congress Government was committed to make the state flouride-free by March 2009, Mr Reddy led his party colleagues out of the House, protesting over the delay in finalising tender for drinking water projects in worst-hit Nalgonda district.

CPI(M) Floor leader N Narasimaiah, who led party members out of the House, alleged that the government was ''indifferent'' to the plight of flouride-hit people.

TDP Legislature Party Deputy Leader N Janardhan Reddy registered his party's protest over the government's alleged failure to complete the projects for which the previous government had released funds during its tenure.

Lone Janata Party member K Ramulu also registered his protest on the issue.

The Minister said while National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) had released Rs 49.50 crore, the Centre had released Rs 50.98 crore as recommended by the 12th Finance Commission.

A sum of Rs 483 crore was released under different programmes, he said, adding that Rs 468.44 crore had been spent on the ongoing drinking water projects in fluoride-affected areas till January this year and the remaining works would be completed in the next three months.

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