Andhra Pradesh

No politics in Naidu's arrest: AP Home Minister

Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P Sabita Indira Reddy clarified that there was no politics or revenge in the arrest and shifting of fasting Telugu Desam President (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu to the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) early today.

Addressing a press conference here, Ms Reddy said that ever since Mr Naidu began his fast three days ago, doctors were monitoring his health.

The government doctors and his personal doctors who had examined Mr Naidu stated at 1930 hours last night that his condition had turned criticial. "As responsibility lies on the government on his falling health, the state government shifted him to hospital," she said.

The Home Minister said the police officers and a team of doctors requested Mr Naidu four to five times before his arrest to go to the hospital and cooperate with them. As Mr Naidu refused to do so, he was arrested and shifted to hospital, she said.

About Mr Naidu falling from the stretcher in the hospital, Ms Reddy said that the Government would take action if there were any mistakes by the police personnel in handling him.

The Home Minister said the police was not involved in the decision to shift Mr Naidu to hospital, which was taken by the State government.


Fasting Chandrababu Naidu forcibly shifted to hospital in Hyderabad

Amidst high drama and chaos, former Andhra Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu, who is on an indefinite fast for the last three days, was arrested and shifted to the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), early today.

A large posse of police personnel descended at the new MLA quarters, where Mr Naidu had been on fast demanding better package to the farmers who lost their crops in recent rains, and forcibly shifted him to the NIMS.

The police personnel, who came around midnight, repeatedly appealed to Mr Naidu to call off the fast.

As Mr Naidu did not relent, a large number of TDP supporters threw a security cordon arund him and tried to prevent the police from shifting him.

Amid high drama and jostling, the police lifted Mr Naidu and shifted him to the NIMS. Mr Naidu's son Lokesh suffered minor injuries in the melee.

Condemning the "cowardly" act by the police, Mr Naidu said he would continue the fast in the hospital till the government conceded his demand and announced an input subsidy of Rs 10,000 per acre for food crops damaged in rains.

Tension prevailed at the venue when the police swooped on to the dias where Mr Naidu was sitting on his fast.

As Mr Naidu did not budge, police arrested the TDP workers who came in their way and bundled them into waiting police vans.

The state government had last night directed the police to shift Mr Naidu to hospital as his health condition deteriorating.

TDP leaders and workers strongly condemned the state government's action when their leader was holding fast peacefully.

"It looks like emergency period as the police dubiously acted against Mr Naidu," a TDP leader said, adding Mr Naidu's son has suffered injuries on his head and right hand.

Police have registered cases against Mr Naidu and his supporters.

TDP legislator Nagam Janardhan Reddy told mediapersons that police had acted in an "inhuman" way as they manhandled the legislators who prevented them from arresting Mr Naidu.

Reports said Mr Naidu was refusing to take intravenous fluids in the emergency ward in the hospital.

In protest against the arrests of its workers and the shifting of Mr Naidu to hospital, the TDP has called for a state-wide "bandh" (general strike) today.


Depression likely to cross south AP coast by Tuesday night

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here today that a depression had formed over west-central Bay of Bengal and it was likely to cross south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Ongole near Kavali by tonight.

A bulletin issued by IMD said that the depression lay centred at 0830 IST today near latitude 14 degrees North and longitude 82 degrees East, about 230 km south-east of Kavali, 270 km south-southeast of Machlipatnam and 450 km south-southwest of Vishakhapatnam.

"It will move northwestwards and cross south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Ongole near Kavali by today night," the bulletin said.

Under its influence, rains or thundershowers would occur at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places, over Rayalseema and north coastal Tamil Nadu during the next 48 hours. Isolated heavy rainfall would also occur during the next 24 hours over south coastal Orissa from tomorrow, the bulletin said.

It said squally winds, with speed reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours. Sea conditions will be rough to very rough along and off these coasts, it said, and advised fishermen not to venture into the sea.


Kiran Reddy says agitations caused Rs 6,000 cr loss to AP

Andhra Pradesh's new Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today said that the State Government had lost about Rs 6,000 crore last year due to agitations in support of a separate Telangana and its counter agitations for a unified State.

Addressing his maiden public meeting at Tandur town of Ranga Reddy District here after assuming office, Mr Reddy said the series of agitations and protests had an adverse impact on the State revenue and caused a loss of Rs 6,000 crore to the State exchequer.

However, he exuded confidence that all the problems would be solved in next three or four months.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister vowed that supply of free power for agricultural sector and welfare schemes and all development programmes launched by late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) would be continued and there was no question of stopping them in the middle by citing financial reasons.

Mr Reddy assured the people that his government was committed to the welfare of farmers and said he was taking all steps to provide more loans through the banks to the agriculture sector.

Some pro-Telangana activists had tried to obstruct the Chief Minister's visit. However, the police foiled their attempt and took them into custody.


Jaganmohan Reddy's resignation from Lok Sabha accepted

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today announced that Congress rebel MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's resignation as member of the House from Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh had been accepted.

Amidst a din created by the Opposition continuing its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Ms Kumar informed the House that she had accepted Mr Reddy's resignation with effect from November 29.

"I have to inform the House that I have received a letter dated November 29 from Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, an elected member from Kadapa parliamentary constituency of Andhra Pradesh resigning from the membership of the Lok Sabha. I have accepted his resignation with effect from November 29," she said.

Mr Reddy, 38, is the son of late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, has been unhappy with the way the party high command has overlooked his claims to succeed his father, who had died in a helicopter crash on September 2 last year.

He has also resigned from the primary membership of the party while his mother, Ms Vijaylakshmi Reddy, has quit as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.


Naval Commanders' Conference at Vizag from today

The three-day Naval Commanders' Conference 2009, being held at the Eastern Naval Command headquarters in Visakhapatnam from today, is expected to discuss ways of improving maritime security, including coastal security, and enhancement of its capabilities to meet future challenges.

The conference is the highest decision-making body of the Indian Navy and it meets annually to deliberate upon major operational issues that have a bearing on the nation’s maritime interests, coastal and offshore security, naval strategy, and operational and acquisition plans.

The conference will be inaugurated by Admiral Sureesh Mehta, the Chief of the Naval Staff. Other senior officers from the navy, the three naval command headquarters, the Andaman and Nicobar Command, and the two fleets, will also attend.

The navy has recently been entrusted with the responsibility of comprehensive maritime security, including coastal security. New organisations, structures and procedures for achieving synergy between all stake holders, such as the coast guard, marine police, and other central and state security agencies, have been operationalised.

As the nation and the navy gears itself up to meet this challenging task, many issues require detailed debate. ‘Coastal Security’ is, therefore, one of the major focus issues of this year’s conference, an official statement said.

Over the past six months, the navy has deployed ships continuously in the Gulf of Aden on anti-piracy missions. The Indian Navy’s contribution in maintaining security in the region has been widely acclaimed by seafarers all over the world. Measures to further improve effectiveness of the navy in anti-piracy missions will also be deliberated during the conference, it said.

Over the next few years, very major capabilities in all three dimensions will be inducted into the navy. The integration of these platforms and weapon systems to support the overall concept of operations is a transformational challenge. Naval Commanders would deliberate on these issues as well, the statement added.


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