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    TDP chief slams PM over fuel price hike

    Hyderabad: In the wake of the recent fuel price hike, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday criticised Prime Minister Mamhohan Singh and the UPA government for their "lack of concern for the common man".

    "For every demand of farmers, the PM has been saying that he did not have a magic wand or that money does not grow on trees. But his government in AP is wasting public funds on lopsided policies, without giving real benefit to either the poor or the farmers," Naidu said.

    He was speaking to reporters at NTR Bhavan in Hyderabad following his three-day long padayatras in Anantapur, Kadapa and Kurnool districts as part of the 'Rythu Poru Bata' campaign.

    Comparing taxes in various states, Naidu said, the tax on petrol in AP was 33 per cent as against 25 in Karnataka and 18 in Orissa.

    The fuel costs have added to the miseries of the farmers in the state, who were reeling under drought conditions without supplies of drinking water and fodder for animals in over 700 mandals where crops in nearly 75 lakh acres had been damaged, he added.

    During his recent 50 km-long padayatra, the TDP president visited around 25 villages and interacted with farmers, farm laborers and poor.

    Naidu demanded that the state government and the Centre should implement the Prof Swaminathan report on the minimum support price (MSP), increase the crop loans without interest to farmers and also hike subsidies for fertilisers, seeds, agriculture equipments and cold storage, godowns etc.

    Naidu is scheduled to visit some more districts as part of his 'Rythu Poru Bata' and also take up padayatras in those districts from November 7 to 10.