Anantapur: With the co-operative society elections in sight, political parties are plunging into the fray to lure farmers after launching protests demanding water from different parts of the region. However, last month a series of meetings and protests were witnessed following the 236 kms padayatra (Bhagira-tha Vijaya Yatra) by revenue minister N. Raghu-veera Reddy from Malyal to Jeedipalli. The purported aim: a plea to bring Krishna waters to Ananta-pur district from Srisailam reservoir backwaters.
As part of the Vijaya yatra, the Congress reportedly gained political mil-eage after inviting a large number of VVIPs and leaders to counter the padayatras of TD supremo N. Cha-ndrababu Naidu and YSR Congress leader Sharmila in Rayalaseema districts. Interestingly, other parties have started protests in various forms immediately after completion of the Bhagiratha Vijaya Yatra at Ananta Venkata Reddy HNSS project.
The CPI district unit issued an ultimatum during Vijaya Yatra, and staged an indefinite hunger protest at Guntakal demanding release of Krishna water to YT Cheruru, Pata Kotta Cheruv and Gooty tanks in Gooty Assembly constituency in the last week.
CPI had also staged a dharna at HNSS office in connection with the issue. The Congress had given a counter to the CPI after releasing water to the three tanks on Saturday.
Meanwhile, poor availability of water in the HLMC quota was another weapon for the opposition parties for the last 10 days. YSR Congress MLA Kapu Ramachandra Reddy’s dharna at Bommanahal demanding release of water from Tungabhadra HLMC, took an interesting turn after he threatened the government about committing suicide by consuming pesticide at the canal.
Similarly, TD MLA Pay-yavula Kesav of Uravako-nda created havoc for the irrigation officials for three days following his demand to release HLMC water to Guntakal Branch Canal. The irrigation officials released water on Saturday. YSR Congress’s central committee member Y. Visweswara Reddy’s night-long ‘jagarana’ prot-est at PABR dam demanding 10 tmc feet water to Rapthadu, Dharmavaram and Uravakonda areas, caused unrest. Alarmed over continued protests, Anantapur MP A Venk-atrami Reddy announced an additional quota of two tmc feet water to HLMC after getting an assurance from the Chief Minister. An analyst observed that a series of agitations by all political parties was to gain political mileage in the imminent co-operative society elections.