Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday staged a 12-hour-long "Sand Deeksha'' fast over sand crisis and urged the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government to bring back the free sand policy in the state.
Mr Naidu said that "YSR Congress Party leaders, including Mr Reddy, are acting like terrorists."
"We demand to provide free sand. Seize borders to stop smuggling of sand. Control your sand mafia. You are even weakening the police. They are not ignorant, they are deliberately encouraging sand mafia. Bring free sand policy immediately. This is test for your sincerity," Mr Naidu said.
He said that the YSR Congress Party leaders has "artificially" created sand shortage.
"Sand is nature's gift. Everybody has the right to use sand. The government made it a trouble by creating sand scarcity. Nobody wants to commit suicide. The government compelled so many workers to commit suicide. 35 lakh families of construction workers are suffering. They could not even celebrate Dussehra and Diwali," Mr Naidu said.
"Sale of steel, iron, cement came down. This problem led to severe crisis. People are waiting for sand for the past six months. During our regime we gave sand freely. As of now 45-50 persons committed suicide. YSR Congress Party leaders are the sand mafia. They allege on our TDP leaders. Andhra Pradesh sand is not available in the state, but is being sold in cities outside the state, like Bengaluru. After six months, they brought sand policy, which is not good," he added.
Mr Naidu went on to add that on Wednesday in a cabinet meeting, the state government fixed punishments and fine for sand hoarding.
"It is your party leaders who are the mafia. The government says it is selling online. But online nobody gets sand. But YSR Congress Party leaders are getting sand, and they are selling it in black market. Chief Minister, you cannot cheat people forever. Your thoughts are to loot the people. YSR Congress Party is doing black marketing. Development halted in Andhra Pradesh," he said in another tweet.
"Many lives are shattered... All parties are fighting on this sand shortage. Ruling party is abusing opposition leaders who demand for sand. We too can abuse, but our dignity is stopping. Stop abusing us, use that time to provide sand. YSR Congress Party is ruling the state with brute force," he added.