Sripada project in a limbo

Former minister reportedly opposed the inauguration of the project.

Karimnagar: The differences between the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and civil supplies minister D. Sridhar Babu following the divesting the latter of civil supplies portfolio has cast a shadow over the inauguration of the much anticipated Sripada Sagar lift irrigation project at Ellampally in Ramagundam mandal. The project is slated to be inaugurated tentatively on January 11.

Ironically, the project is named after Sridhar Babu's father, but the minister now appears to be raising a banner of revolt against Kiran Kumar for divesting the former from civil supplies portfolio.
Furthermore, the recent remarks of Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar against Kiran Kumar Reddy's visit seem to be compounded the hurdles to the inauguration.

It all started when Sridhar Babu, a close aide of N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, as Legislative Affairs minister claimed that the debate on Telangana draft Bill was started in Assembly after being introduced on December 17. His remarks drew Kiran's ire and ultimately lead to his stripping of Civil Supplies portfolio recently.

In the following developments, Sridhar tendered his resignation to the ministry and blatantly denied commercial tax portfolio offered by Kiran Kumar Reddy. Upping ante against Chief Minister, Sridhar Babu reportedly decided to oppose inauguration of Sripada Rao project. Speaking to a vernacular newspaper, he said, "I don't think Chief Minister would inaugurate the project in the given political situation.

Earlier, Sridhar Babu feigned ignorance when followers of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) staged protests against the inauguration by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy for openly opposing the creation of separate Telangana state.

The district continue to witness widespread protests after divesting Sridhar Babu of the portfolio. The present political scenario has cats shadow over the inauguration of the project envisaged for lifting 20 TMCs of water from Godavari river at Ellampally.

Two tmsc of water will be allocated to irrigate 20,000 acres of in Manthani, while 10 tmcs will be allocated to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

Remaining water would be suppled to Hyderabad, Karimnagar, Adilabad and Medak for drinking purposes. It may be recalled that the former chief minister late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy laid the foundation stone for the project on July 28, 2004.

However, the officials concerned have been busy in making elaborate arrangements for the inaugural ceremony for the past few days. Meanwhile, rumours are doing rounds that the date of inauguration would be postponed in view of the political uncertainty.

Next: Protests continue against Kiran

Protests continue against Kiran

Karimnagar: Congress party men on Sunday intensified protests against Chief Minister Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy for shifting Sridhar Babu's portfolio.

They staged dharna at Telangana chowk and raised slogans against the chief minister, while former corporators belonging to SC, ST communities observed a silent protest at Ambedkar Chowk.
City Congress committee president Kan-nan Krishna demanded that the Mr Kiran to reinstate D. Sridhar Babu in the previous portfolio at the earliest.

"The minister performed his duties and followed the provisions of the Indian Constitution in handling the Telangana draft Bill in Assembly. But Chief Minister is trying to obstruct the formation of Telanga-na by disassociating Sridhar Babu from the portfolio," alleged Krishna.

They wrote a letter to UPA Chairperson Son-ia Gandhi seeking the removal of chief minister. They played a match using a football imprinted with Kiran Kumar Reddy's photograph condemning his unpredicted move.

At Ambedkar Chowk, ex corporator Mendi Chandrasekhar flayed the decision of Mr Kiran to shift the minister. "If Sridhar Babu was the Legislative Affairs Minister, Telangana state would have been served smoothly," he remarked. He also demanded that Mr Kiran should tender his resignation.

( Source : dc )
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