Former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and Telegu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and his entourage of 75 party colleagues remained in Maharashtra police custody at Dharmabad in Maharashtra for the second day on Saturday.
The leaders refused to accept bail conditions and insisted on travelling to the site of the Babhli dam and 13 other projects on the Godavari, being built by the Maharashtra government.
The TDP called the projects “illegal” and alleged that the Maharashtra government had raised the height of the dams to reduce the flow of water to north Telangana.
Last night, the Maharashtra police lodged the arrested leaders in a private polytechnic building, allegedly having only one toilet and no running water and did not provide any food or drinking water apparently to force Naidu and his team to return.
But as the TDP leaders stayed put at Dharmabad, the police on Saturday called a magistrate, who offered to grant bail to the leaders.
The magistrate held talks with Naidu for over two hours, but failed to convince him.
Meanwhile, a shutdown was observed in Dharmabad, about 12 km from Andhra border, in protest against the “adamant” stand of the TDP leaders.
The strike call was given by the Babhli Bachao Kriti Samiti, led by Congress member of Parliament from Nanded Bhaskarrao Patil Khatgaonkar.
The Maharashtra government is now planning to shift the TDP leaders to either Nasik or Aurangabad jail that have adequate facilities to lodge political prisoners.
Naidu, however, succeeded in his political mission: improving the TDP stock in Telangana, where by-elections to a dozen assembly seats will be held on July 27.