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Power stir snowballs

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TDP, YSRCP Too join agitation against power crisis Hyderabad: The police on Tuesday arrested the Left leaders who were on a hunger strike over...

TDP, YSRCP Too join agitation against power crisis pow2 Hyderabad: The police on Tuesday arrested the Left leaders who were on a hunger strike over the power crisis at Indira Park, as if they were waiting for the Assembly session to be over. Two of the leaders BV Raghavulu and K Narayana were shifted to Gandhi Hospital where they continued the fast, refusing to take even medicines. Meanwhile TDP MLAs, MLCs and MPs also plunged into the agitation by launching a hunger strike at Old MLA quarters. On their part the YSRCP MLAs first courted arrest at the Assembly gates and then sat on dharna in front of the Saifabad police station causing huge traffic jam. The four-day old indefinite hunger strike by the Left combine came to an abrupt end as the leaders on fast were lifted physically, pushing the party workers aside. The arrested included BV Raghavulu, state secretary of the CPM and K Narayana, state secretary of the CPI. The Telugu Desam Party, which got the mandate from the party chief to go it alone in its protest, launched an indefinite hunger strike at the Old MLA quarters in the city. Led by its deputy floor leader in the Assembly P Ashok Gajapati Raju, some 25 MLAs took part in the fast on the first day. Those on fast included P Keshav, D Narendra, Devineni Uma- maheswara Rao, Thummla Nageshwar Rao, Muddukrishnama Naidu, Jaipal Yadav, Sitakka and Satyavati Rathod. The Left party leaders on fast had sufficient indication about the impending police action in view of the overwhelming response it received. But they were expecting the police to move in either in the midnight or in the small hours of Wednesday. But the police took them by surprise by entering into the camp well before the nightfall. Over 200 plain-clothed police personnel arrived at the fast camp site and within 15 minutes they bodily lifted all the activists, including Raghavulu and Narayana. Both of them were feeling weak and hence needed treatment, the police told them. But they did not relent. They continued their fast in the hospital without taking medicines. Although the Left parties' activists offered stiff resistance, they were no match for the task, as the policemen were simply brutal. They did not give any chance to the agitators to escape and virtually caught and carried each of them to the waiting vehicles. Hundreds of activists belonging to 10 Left parties, including the CPI- ML New Democracy, MCPI among others, had gone on indefinite fast on March 23 under the leadership of both Raghavulu and Narayana demanding the government to give up the move to hike power tariff. On Monday legislators of the Telugu Desam, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Dr Jayaprakash Narayan of the Lok Satta, K. Keshav Rao, former Congress MP, had expressed solidarity with the Left cause.A Meanwhile, to intensify its struggle on power crisis, the YSR Congress Party on Tuesday decided to undertake a tour by its MLAs in some selected constituencies to assess the withered crops due to non- supply of power. pow3
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