New Delhi: In what could be a major embarrassment for the Congress, at least 20 party MLAs, two MPs and two MLCs were present at former party member Jaganmohan Reddy’s one-day fast on Tuesday.
Jagan who had announced plans to launch a new party, is on a fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest against the “injustice” meted out to Andhra Pradesh in the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal award.
Leaders from other political parties from the southern state were also present at the protest site.
Two MLAs from film-star turned politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party, Shoba Naga Reddy and K Rama Reddy, and Telugu Desam Party’s Bal Naga Reddy and Prassana Kumar Reddy also attended the fast, which coined the slogan ‘farmers´ right’, ‘Andhra Pradesh fight’ and ‘our water our right´.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA Rehman, former state ministers, Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose and Surekha were also present for the protest being held under the banner ‘Jal Deeksha’ in the national capital.
The former Congress MP from Kadapa, who had resigned from the party in November 2010, arrived late on Monday by a special train along with his supporters and farmers.
The 38-year-old son of former AP chief minister late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, had quit Congress alleging “humiliation” by the party high command.
Sources said the objective of the fast is to highlight farmers’ plight who suffered heavily due to cyclones, untimely rains and floods over the last one year and possible adverse impact of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal on the state.
Jagan had last month held a 48-hour fast at Vijayawada demanding hike in compensation announced by the government for the rain-hit farmers.
Political parties in Andhra Pradesh are not happy with the Krishna Tribunal Award and claim that state will now have to be at the mercy of upper riparian state Karnataka.
They had said the award was a “big blow” as the state has lost “total right” over utilisation of surplus water.