Hyderabad: Asserting that their fight on the Babhli irrigation project issue was in no way related to the July 27 by-elections, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday said they would withdraw from the contest in all the 12 seats if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gets the construction work on the illegal Babhli project stopped forthwith.
"If Chief Minister K Rosaiah secures a clear assurance from the Prime Minister on protecting the states interests, the TDP will have no hesitation in withdrawing from the by-election contest," Chandrababu Naidu announced here.
The TDP chief's announcement assumes significance as the Congress and the separatist Telangana Rashtra Samiti have been critical of his agitation against the Babhli project saying it was taken up only to benefit in the by-elections in 12 Assembly constituencies in Telangana region.
In fact, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan too criticised the TDPs agitation on the issue saying it was purely political while his AP counterpart too made light of ChandrababuҒs fight in a similar tone.
The TDP has first started its fight against Babhli way back in January 2005 when the project works began. Since then it has been waging a political as well as legal battle against Babhli and other illegal irrigation projects only to safeguard the interests of Andhra Pradesh.