Hyderabad: Even as police arrested leaders of Left parties who were on hunger strike for last four days to protest hike in electricity tariff, leaders of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Tuesday night launched an indefinite fast on the same issue.
TDP state legislators and MPs were among 26 leaders who began the hunger strike at Old MLA Quarters, demanding the government to rollback fuel surcharge adjustment (FSA) imposed on customers and withdraw the proposal to hike the tariff.
The TDP legislators decided to launch hunger strike after the budget session of the assembly was adjourned sine die by the speaker amid uproar. The opposition parties were unhappy with the government's reply to two-day debate on the electricity issue.
N Kiran Kumar Reddy defended the FSA, saying it became inevitable as the government was buying electricity at a high price to meet the demand.
TDP leader P Keshav said they would continue the hunger strike till the government agrees to bear FSA and comes out with a concrete plan to deal with electricity shortage.
YSR Congress party leaders also staged sit-in at the main entrance of the assembly to lodge their protest. They alleged that the house was adjourned without debating the people's issues. Police arrested the protesting legislators and shifted them to Saifabad police station.
Earlier, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, while replying to the debate, defended the FSA, saying it became inevitable as the government was buying electricity at a high price to meet the demand.
He said gas shortage, fall in thermal generation due to deficit rainfall and unprecedented demand led to the present situation. He exuded confidence that the situation would improve with the commissioning of upcoming projects next year.