National

Former AP CM goes on 12-hour fast for sand

Our Bureau Vijayawada | Updated on November 14, 2019

sand

The former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, began a 12-hour fast from 8 a.m to 8 p.m at Dharna Chowk here on Thursday to highlight the issue of sand scarcity crippling the construction sector in the State and leading to the reported suicides of as many as 40-50 workers in the field.

The former CM said that it was an artificial sand scarcity created by the YSR Congress Government, enabling the ruling party MLAs to make fast buck by smuggling sand to neighbouring states while the construction sector in the State remained crippled for the past four to five months. Describing YSR Congress MlAs as "isukaasurulu" in Telugu, which can be roughly translated as "demons swallowing sand and fattening themselves on it", he said the State Government was doing absolutely nothing to mitigate the problem, simply blaming it on the river floods. To add insult to injury, he said, a sand week ("isuka vaarotsavam") was being celebrated by "this shameless YSR Congress Government" from Thursday. He demanded that the old free sand policy, introduced by him when he was in power, be revived and the Government take immediate steps to solve the problem.

Rebuttal

Strongly rebutting his allegations, the ruling party MLAs said it was strange that "the former Chief Minister who allowed his party MLAs to loot the sand in the State and enrich themselves is now mouthing pious platitudes. The National Green Tribunal imposed a fine of Rs 100 crores on the then Chandrababu Government for indiscriminate sand mining, resulting in huge ecological damage. We would like to refresh the memory of the former CM on that aspect."

Further, said the YSR Congress MLA, K. Pardhasaradhi and others, "the less said about his free sand policy, the better. Yes, sand was freely supplied to his party MLAs and leaders but they supplied to the people of the State at exorbitant rates. The public did not get sand free. Further, a sand mafia was flourishing during the TDP rule in the State and "now shamelessly the former CM has gone on a 12-hour fast to bring the sand mafia back. The temporary sand scarcity in the State is only due to river floods and the former CM is politicising the issue."

Published on November 14, 2019

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