TDP claims Babu still on fast!

HYDERABAD: Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was forcibly given intravenous fluids (IV) at a hospital here but his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) claimed he was continuing his fast for the eighth day Friday, demanding relief for farmers who lost their crops in recent rains.

Doctors at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) forcibly administered IV fluids as his condition had deteriorated Thursday night. NIMS director P.V. Ramesh said they had no other option as there was an imminent risk of Naidu slipping into irreversible health complications.

As police had already obtained orders from a magistrate directing NIMS authorities to take care of Naidu’s health, police forcibly removed a few TDP leaders present in his room and also ordered his wife Bhuvaneswari and other relatives to leave.

The leader of opposition was then shifted to the intensive care unit and forcibly given IV fluids. Naidu had been refusing to take the same or undergo treatment since Monday, when he was arrested and brought to hospital.

The decision to forcibly give IV fluids was taken after a team of five doctors, including Naidu’s personal physician and eminent cardiologist B. Somaraju, examined him and felt that he may slip into coma which may then lead to organ failure.

TDP was furious over the action taken by police and NIMS authorities. The party claimed that its chief was still on fast and would continue till the government announces the relief package for farmers.

"How long will this government run with by using the police force?" asked senior TDP leader N. Janardhan Reddy.

TDP and the two Communist parties have called for a march to the secretariat Friday to urge the government to come to the rescue of farmers.

The opposition parties said they were gearing for a national agitation over the farmers’ issues.

A meeting of TDP legislators was underway at NTR Trust Bhavan, the TDP headquarters here, Friday morning to chalk out their future course of action.

At an all-party meeting Thursday, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had rejected all Naidu’s demands but agreed to take an all-party delegation to New Delhi to seek further financial assistance for farmers.

Naidu is demanding that the government declare the crop loss a national calamity, pay a compensation of Rs.10,000 per acre for food crops and Rs.15,000 per acre for commercial crops.

Opposition parties claim that about 150 farmers had committed suicide due to the massive crop losses they suffered in heavy rains early this month.(IANS)

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