MAC: Mines and Communities

Not a pleasant experience for Minister

Published by MAC on 2007-07-11

Not a pleasant experience for Minister

Special Correspondent, The Hindu - http://www.hindu. com/2007/07/11/stories/2007071158930300.htm

11th July 2007

TDP, CPI and BJP workers stage dharna at venue of DRC meeting - With his vehicle blocked, he walks a short distance - As sparks fly over mining, officials boycott the meet

VISAKHAPATNAM: The first meeting of the District Review Committee (DRC) he chaired on Tuesday after being made Minister In-charge of Visakhapatnam has not been a pleasant experience for Transport Minister Kanna Lakshminarayna.

Telugu Desam, CPI and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and workers staged a dharna near the Zilla Praja Parishad office building where the DRC meeting was held, demanding that the Government drop the proposal of bauxite mining and setting up the alumina refineries in the plain area.

They insisted that a part of water meant for the city be not diverted to the Jindal refinery in S. Kota mandal. They also raised slogans demanding better water supply to all localities including police quarters.

As they blocked his vehicle, Mr. Lakshminarayana got down and walked a short distance to the ZPP office with the police pushing away the protestors.

As soon as the meeting commenced, the TDP MLAs wanted their questions on irregularities and corruption in some irrigation works and GVMC's agreement with the Jindal company on water supply taken up first. There were heated arguments between the TDP and Congress and the agenda was not taken up.

During these arguments, officers boycotted the meeting after a TDP MLA Chengala Venkata Rao tried to obstruct the officials from reading the agenda and roughed up a constable in plainclothes. Mr. Venkata Rao did not apologise to the officers but insisted after the meeting was postponed that the Minister apologise to him "first for provoking him and others by not heeding their request and also insisting that the officers go ahead with the agenda" even as the TDP members were asking him to take up their questions first.

Mr. Lakshminarayana said the TDP only wanted to create chaos and not development but his question to the members of DRC whether they wanted development or nuisance was also objected to by MLC M.V.S. Sarma, who wanted the Minister to withdraw the question.

"We are against the decisions that will destroy the people", he said. Later the Minister regretted mistaking Anakapalle MP Pappala Chalapathi Rao for an MLC and saying that he was not a member of the DRC. He repeatedly said "sorry" for the mistake.

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