HYDERABAD: AP panchayat raj minister Ch Ayyanna Patrudu on Saturday received a death threat from Maoists, who are opposed to bauxite mining in the Agency area of Visakhapatnam.

The Maoists reportedly warned that Ayyanna Patrudu, who hails from north coastal Andhra, should prevail upon the state government to withdraw the permission for bauxite mining in Narsipatnam division of the Agency area. The outlaws have also demanded that the minister resign from the state cabinet.

Following the threat call, the minister rushed to the state secretariat in Hyderabad to meet chief secretary IYR Krishna Rao. He informed Rao about the Maoist threat. He also briefed him about the mounting pressure from tribals in his assembly constituency to stop the bauxite mining project.

Sources said Patrudu also brought to the notice of the chief secretary that people in his Narsipatnam constituency are under constant threat from Maoists. The minister then spoke to CM Chandrababu Naidu, who assured him that he would discuss the issue with tribal leaders before moving forward. Naidu also asked the minister not to panic and assured full protection to him.

On Thursday, the AP government issued orders permitting mining of bauxite in Narsipatnam. The Maoists have been opposing the mining for long. They even kidnapped three TDP leaders recently and released them only after the government gave an assurance that it would not take up mining. Just after 10 days, the TDP government issued GO (No.97) giving permission to AP Mineral Development Corporation to take up bauxite mining in about 3,000 acres in Narsipatnam forest division. Several TDP leaders in Vizag district are learnt to have received threats from Naxalites.

“It is not the final permission to start mining. Another permission from the mining department is required and we are not going to give it now. First, we will call all tribal leaders and discuss with them whether the state government should take up bauxite mining with the active participation of tribals or keep quiet. Based on their opinion we will move forward. Our CM assured me that he would not go against the sentiment of tribals,” Patrudu told TOI.

TDP is facing rough weather in Vizag and Vizianagaram where bauxite mining has become an emotional issue with tribal families opposing the same. In fact, Naidu while in opposition, had visited the area and assured them that he would fight against the bauxite mining and even wrote letters to the Centre and the state governor.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Source: TOI-Hyd