Adamant on his stand that he would visit the Babhli dam site, Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu refused bail conditions on Saturday and was remanded to 15 days’ judicial custody by a court in Dharmabad.
Naidu and 75 TDP members were arrested by the Maharashtra police on Friday after they entered the state in order to reach the dam site in Nanded and 13 other projects on the Godavari undertaken by the Maharashtra government.
The TDP called the projects “illegal” and protested that the height of the dam would deprive Telangana of its share of water.
The TDP alleged that Naidu and the other arrested members had, on Friday, been lodged in a private polytechnic institute which had only one toilet and no running water.
However, state Home Minister RR Patil said, “We have ensured that he (Naidu) is treated in a fair way as per the law.” Patil said the TDP chief could return to Anhdra Pradesh even if he gave a verbal commitment that he would not go to the project site.
Naidu insisted he would return only after inspecting the site. “We shall go to jail but not return without inspecting Babhli and other controversial projects,” he told the magistrate.
The Maharashtra government is, meanwhile, looking at shifting Naidu to Nashik or Aurangabad jail, which have adequate facilities for political prisoners.
Meanwhile, a bandh was observed in Dharmabad, about 12 km from the Andhra border, to protest against the “adamant” stand of the TDP leaders. The call for the bandh was given by the Babhli Bachao Kruti Samiti, led by Congress member of Parliament and Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s brother-in-law Bhaskarrao Patil Khatgaonkar.