Asserting that the fight on the Babhli issue was no way related to the July 27 bypolls, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu said the party would withdraw from the elections if Chief Minister K Rosaiah could secure the Prime Minister's assurances to stop work on the project.
"If Chief Minister K Rosaiah secures a clear assurance from the Prime Minister on protecting the state's interests, the TDP will have no hesitation in withdrawing from the by-election contest," Naidu announced in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The announcement assumes significance as the Congress and Telangana Rashtra Samiti have been critical of the TDP's agitation against the Babhli project, saying it was taken up only to benefit in the by-elections in 12 Assembly constituencies in Telangana region.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan too criticised the agitation saying it was purely political while his Andhra counterpart also made light of Naidu's fight in a similar way.
The TDP started its fight against the Babhli project since the project work started way back in January 2005.
The issue was raised several times in Parliament, state Assembly and also taken to the notice of the Central Water Commission.
The part had conducted an agitation in New Delhi on the issue besides meeting the Prime Minister, Naidu said.
"This is the life struggle of people from Telangana region. A staggering 18 lakh acres of agricultural land will turn into a desert if the illegal projects are completed on river Godavari by Maharashtra," he claimed.