Chandra Babu Naidu shifted to ICU

HYDERABAD: Fasting TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu was today shifted to the ICU of a hospital as his condition worsened further even as chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy appeared unwilling to accept his demand for enhanced compensation to rain-hit farmers.

All opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh are making efforts to persuade Naidu to end his indefinite hunger strike that entered the seventh day today.

Even Kiran’s own cabinet colleagues are pleading Naidu’s case but to no avail. As the former chief minister’s health condition worsened further, he was shifted by doctors and the police to the ICU of Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) this evening.

At an all-party meeting this afternoon, opposition parties Praja Rajyam, CPI, CPI(M), BJP, Lok Satta, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and TRS tried to prevail on the Chief Minister to consider the demand raised by Naidu but Kiran stuck to his position saying "we have no money".

"The state government is paying Rs 2,000 per hectare more than what the government of India is giving. We wrote to the Centre requesting it to enhance the compensation to Rs 8,000 per hectare. We can’t give anything more than what has already been announced," the CM told the Opposition parties.

The Opposition then suggested that the state pay Rs 8,000 a hectare as compensation to calamity-hit farmers but Kiran turned this demand down.

"We have no money," he told the Opposition parties, leading TDP, CPI and CPI(M) to walk out of the meeting in protest. The Chief Minister, however, agreed to lead an all- party delegation to the Centre to plead the farmers’ case "only if required".

Kiran came under fire from the Opposition as he refused to enhance the compensation package for calamity-hit farmers as demanded by the TDP chief.

"He (Kiran) is speaking as if he is giving money from his pocket. He should know that it is the people’s money which should be spent for the cause of people in times of distress. He is not giving a fund for our party," TDP politburo member Yanamala Ramakrishnudu said.

"Kiran has turned out to be the most non-practical Chief Minister," CPI State secretary K Narayana lashed out. CPI(M), BJP and TRS leaders hit out at the CM, charging he "lacked an open mind" to resolve the issue.

Praja Rajyam President K Chiranjeevi wanted the government to review the relief package and enhance the compensation to farmers in view of the loss. TRS leader E Rajender requested the chief minister to personally call on Naidu and make him end the fast.

Kiran’s attitude left his Cabinet colleagues puzzled. This became evident as three ministers – K Jana Reddy, Mopidevi Venkata Ramana and Vatti Vasantha Kumar – walked out of the all-party meet midway. In fact, of the 11 Ministers invited for the crucial meet, only six turned up.(PTI)

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