Peruggudem, West Godavari District: The boat tragedy which took place in river Godavari, is something so grieving that words cannot describe the scale of this mishap. It left me deeply disturbed. News of bodies coming to the surface one after another, of mothers losing their children, a child losing his mother, and a family losing its provider—there are many such horrific tales which are too disturbing to be recounted. Who is there to console the bereaved?

Apart from the carelessness of the operators and the connivance of officials, the primary, overriding reason behind this tragedy is the unbridled greed and corruption of the TDP leaders. The negligence on the part of the government defies description. While the boat operators was repeatedly told to turn back in view of the fierce gales and stormy weather, the arrogance with which they went ahead, knowing that they had the full backing of the government officials who had a slice of the pie in everything they did, makes it sickening beyond description.

What about the government? It is equally insensitive to such tragedies. No matter how many such incidents take place, those at the helm of affairs think that they can use their select media outlets to cover up the truth and put out their own version to deceive the gullible public. Illegally acquired money is more important than anything else to the TDP leaders at the highest level. At the time of elections money acquired through illegal means comes into play to gain power. This is the single-minded objective of the TDP leadership and it is this apathetic attitude towards the public and its welfare, that is the principal cause of this boat tragedy.

When 22 precious, innocent lives were lost in the boat tragedy in Krishna River which took place in November last year, all opposition parties, civil society groups and others pointed a finger at the nexus between the boat operators, ruling party leaders and officials. The corruption and greed of the government was brought to light at that time. The TDP government should have learnt a lesson then and mended its ways. At least everybody hoped that this would be the case and that there would be no recurrence of such tragedies. However, a few days later, news appeared that the first citizen‘s family was taken for a ride literally so, by this negligent government in an unlicensed boat which did not meet the regulations or clearances. What audacity is this?

Only very recently when a fire broke out on a boat, one had fervently hoped that the TDP leaders and the officials concerned would have learnt a lesson. Sadly, that was not the case. Their greed seems to have no limits.

All these serious mishaps have now led to this indescribable tragedy which took place in the Godavari river. Is government negligence directly not responsible for this tragedy? Even today, the Chief Minister through his select media channels is pretending to act and is trying to cover up the incident in his own characteristic style. The facts are being pushed under the carpet. Had he acted with sternness right after the first incident, instead of shedding crocodile tears and protecting the guilty, subsequent tragedies would not have taken place.

I pray to God to give the necessary strength to the families of the deceased. This is a tragedy beyond words. I have asked my party workers and leaders to stand by the families of the victims in this horrific tragedy and to be of all assistance to them.

This is the result of the actions of the ruling party leaders who have become a bigger part of the problem than the problem itself. Instead of curbing their activities, if the chief minister encourages them, people stand at the receiving end of things in everything, inevitably.

The Dendaluru constituency reflects the misrule of the TDP government and one finds examples of maladministration everywhere. What can one say about the chief minister who gives rankings to such MLAs who are indulging in unchecked corruption and illegalities?

I have a question for the chief minister—right from the Pushkarams stampede to the ferry mishap to incident after incident, which cost people their precious lives, have the facts been revealed? In the name of committees, aren’t time and public money being wasted? Will you at least attempt to punish those who are really guilty for these avoidable accidents, mishaps and tragedies? Aren’t your negligence and corruption responsible for such incidents?