Vijayawada: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday staged a 12-hour long ‘Sand Deeksha’ fast over the sand crisis and urged the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government to bring back the free sand policy immediately.
Addressing a gathering here, Naidu said that “YSRCP leaders, including Jagan, are acting like terrorists.”
“We demand to provide free sand. Seize borders to stop the smuggling of sand. Control your sand mafia. You are even weakening the police… They are not ignorant, they are deliberately encouraging sand mafia. Bring free sand policy immediately. This is a test for your sincerity,” Naidu said.
He said that the YSRCP has “artificially” created a sand shortage.
“Sand is nature’s gift. Everybody has the right to use sand. The government made it trouble by creating sand scarcity. Nobody wants to commit suicide. The government compelled so many workers to commit suicide. 35 lakh families of construction workers are suffering. They could not even celebrate Dussehra and Diwali,” Naidu said.
“Steel, iron, cement, etc sales came down. This problem led to a severe crisis. People are waiting for sand for the past six months. During our regime, we gave sand freely. As of now 45-50 persons committed suicide. YSRCP leaders are the sand mafia. They allege on our TDP leaders. Andhra Pradesh sand is not available in the state but is being sold in cities outside the state, like Bangaluru. After six months, they brought sand policy, which is not good,” he added.
Naidu went on to add that on Wednesday in a cabinet meeting, the state government fixed punishments and fine for sand hoarding.
“It is your party leaders who are the mafia. The government says it is selling online. But online nobody gets sand. But YSRCP leaders are getting sand, and they are selling it in the black market. Chief Minister, you cannot cheat people forever. Your thoughts are to loot the people. YSRCP is doing black marketing. Development halted in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
“Many lives are shattered… All parties are fighting on this sand shortage. The ruling party is abusing opposition leaders who demand sand. We too can abuse, but our dignity is stopping. Stop abusing us, use that time to provide sand. YSRCP is ruling the state with brute force,” he added.