Hyderabad, July 23 (IANS) All political parties of Andhra Pradesh Friday unanimously decided to seek Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention to stop the ‘illegal’ construction of the Babhali dam by Maharashtra across the Godavari river.
An all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister K. Rosaiah resolved to submit a memorandum to the prime minister July 26, urging him to protect the interests of lower-riparian states, especially of Andhra Pradesh.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshamaiah said the meeting decided to bring to the notice of the prime minister that the project being built by Maharashtra in violation of river water sharing agreements would prove detrimental to the interests of Andhra Pradesh.
He said the prime minister would be urged to suggest a permanent solution to the problem and to ensure that upper-riparian states do not resort to steps which prove detrimental to the interests of lower-riparian states.
The meeting was called to evolve a consensus before the all-party delegation visits Delhi to meet the prime minister.
The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) did not participate in the meeting protesting the decision of the government to allow only one representative from each party. Its leaders came out after submitting a memorandum to the chief minister.
TDP demanded that Maharashtra should stop the construction of the Babhali dam and 13 other projects being illegally built by it across Godavari.
Leaders of the Congress, the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Lok Satta attended the meeting.
The meeting also passed a resolution condemning the Maharashtra Police’s ill-treatment to TDP leaders who had gone to visit Babhali last week. The meeting, however, felt that as a large number of Telugus reside in Maharashtra, there was a need to ensure that the problems were sorted out in an amicable way.
The row over Babhali had created tension last week when Maharashtra Police arrested TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and 74 other party leaders while proceeding towards the dam. They were kept in judicial custody for two week before being forcibly sent back to Hyderabad by a chartered flight.
To counter the TDP’s move, the Shiv Sena Thursday took out a march towards the Salura project across the Manjira river in Andhra Pradesh but were prevented by Maharashtra Police from crossing the river. The Shiv Sena says the project has come up on Maharashtra’s territory.