TDP chief protests over Babhli dam project issue

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Hyderabad, July 21 (ANI): Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu led a highly charged demonstration here on Wednesday to protest the alleged illegal construction of the Babhli dam on River Godavari.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah, meanwhile, said the State Government is working to protect the interests of Andhra Pradesh in a democratic manner, and in accordance with the provisions of Constitution.

"As per our system of two tier of State and Central levels, we have approached the Supreme Court. So don't presume the government has not addressed the issue," said Rosaiah.

He appealed to the TDP leaders and supporters not to cause damage to public properties in the State during their protest. "The Supreme Court has given us (Andhra Pradesh) the favourable directive as such. When the matter is before the Supreme Court, why make a ruckus? Even the Prime Minister has been apprised of this fact," said Rosaiah.

Earlier today, Naidu received a rousing welcome by his supporters on his return to Hyderabad.

Naidu and other legislators of the party were released after being detained in Dharmabad, situated on the border area of Maharashtra.

The Maharashtra police on Friday arrested Naidu along with 75 other politicians, including MPs, state legislators and former ministers for violating prohibitory orders.

They were taken into preventive custody as they tried to visit the Babli Dam in Maharashtra to find out whether that state is grabbing more than its share of water from the River Godavari.

Naidu claimed he was there only to inspect the contentious Babhali Barrage project and to fight for Andhra Pradesh"s fair share of water.

Several educational institutions, cinema halls, petrol-filling stations and markets are likely to remain closed today. Amidst concerns over the controversial project, TDP leaders want to see the Babli project ahead of their July 23 meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

An all-party delegation from Andhra Pradesh is expected to meet Dr. Singh this Friday. (ANI)

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