VISAKHAPATNAM: The CPI (Maoists) on Thursday called for a bandh in five states, including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, on February 20 to protest the anti-people’s activities of the state and central governments. In a press release sent to TOI on Thursday, the Maoists’ Central Regional Bureau (CRB) spokesperson Pratap accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao as well as the CMs of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra of implementing destructive and anti-people policies.
He said the bandh would be observed for 24 hours but emergency services would be exempted. “Water projects, eight-lane roads, plantations, SEZs, industrial corridors, nuclear plants and others are nothing but destructive policies. Though the people are agitating for basic needs, the governments are only concentrating on the corporate sector in the name of ‘development’,” the note stated. The Maoist leader accused Naidu of encouraging realtors by planning to grab nearly 30,000 acres of farm lands in the guise of a new capital for AP, and Telangana CM KCR of planning to hand over around 35,000 acres on the outskirts of Hyderabad to multinational companies in the name of Bangaru Telangana.
“The Naidu government has been violating forest, environment and tribal Acts like Pesa (Panchayati Raj to the Scheduled Areas), 1/70, V and VI Schedules to mine bauxite reserves in the state by amending laws without the consent of the people. Naidu is trying to divide the people by setting up pro-government Pesa committees,” he alleged. He also slammed KCR for his plans to take up mining in the Singareni open cast mines, excavate dolomite at Eturunagaram and set up a tiger project at Kavvala in Adilabad, terming them as anti-people policies.
The Polavaram project too came in for criticism from the CRB spokesperson, who slammed the state and central governments for going through with the project though it was a threat to the environment and lakhs of people in 480 villages would lose their livelihood. He also alleged that the main objective behind the project was to supply water to the Srikakulam-Kakinada industrial corridor and to water a third crop in the Krishna delta. The CRB leader accused the governments of these five states and the Centre of evacuating people from their habitations in villages and forests by speeding up the third phase of Operation Green Hunt. “This is nothing but destructive development. When the people of these states began agitating against such development, the ruling parties temporarily stopped but are once again trying to revive their efforts by paramilitary forces and local cops. All these government have been trying to use security forces to gain dominance in areas housing mines and where projects are slated to come up,” he alleged.