Opposition TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, arrested on charges of attempting suicide after he continued his hunger strike for the fourth day and forcibly shifted to a hospital, today vowed to continue his stir until his demand for compensation for farmers is met.
In an open letter to farmers from NIMS hospital, where he was admitted early this morning, 60-year-old Naidu condemned the "brutal" police action against him and his party workers.
"I am not worried about my health. "There is no question of ending my hunger-strike even if they admit me in hospital, lodge me in jail or rain blows with lathis. I am ready to do anything to wipe the tears from farmers' eyes," he said. "Don't lose heart.
We shall unitedly march ahead on the warpath and seek redressal of your grievances," Naidu said. He claimed that he was forced to undertake an indefinite hunger-strike as the Chief Minister and his ministers "were busy camping in New Delhi, leaving the calamity-hit farmers in the lurch."
The Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Assembly pressed for payment of Rs 10,000 per acre as compensation for paddy, Rs 15,000 for commercial crops and Rs 12,500 per acre for horticulture crops. "More than 1000 police personnel descended on my hunger-strike camp and tried to break the fast that was undertaken in a most peaceful manner.
They not only misbehaved with me and others but also brutally lathi-charged TDP MLAs, MLCs, senior leaders, women, students and other workers," he alleged. Chandrababu expressed his gratitude to political parties, leaders, farmers and others "for expressing solidarity with him."