Karunanidhi denies provocative remarks on Hogenakkal

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Chennai/Bangalore, Apr 3 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today denied having made any provocative statement on the Hogenakkal integrated drinking water scheme issue even as senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna called for restraint on both sides.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, a copy of which was released to the media here, Mr Karunanidhi felt sorry for the ''unkindly'' remarks of Mr Krishna in New Delhi yesterday that his harsh language had provoked reactions in Karnataka, leading to unhealthy developments.

''I have not used any harsh language either publicly or in the resolution passed unanimously in the State Assembly (on the issue) on April one,'' he clarified in the letter, a copy of which was also sent to Mr Krishna.

Recalling his statement, Mr Karunanidhi said ''I am of the view that we should not fight each other as we are brothers. Some anti-social elements will magnify this and cause conflagration. I have been keeping patience so that no room is given to such a situation.'' Quoting media reports, he said no one could misinterpret his words if one went through his speech carefully. ''As a person who has understood me fully well, I am quite sure you will not believe or even imagine that such provocative words would have been uttered by me,'' he added.

Exuding confidence that Dr Singh and Ms Gandhi would appreciate the just cause for which Tamil Nadu had been fighting within the democratic and Constitutional framework, he said a Chief Minister could not remain quiet when in the neighbouring State, buses from Tamil Nadu were burnt, Tamil cinema houses were ransacked, Tamil Sangam office in Bangalore was attacked and Tamils in that State were under constant fear.

In Bangalore, Mr Krishna said Karnataka had always co-operated with neighbouring states on issues of humanitarian importance and appealed to Mr Karunanidhi not to take any measures which would aggravate the situation.

He said had met Dr Singh yesterday and briefed him about the controversy over Hogenakkal issue and concern of the people of Karnataka.

Stating that the controversial Hogenakkal project had to meet several parameters, including nod from the Supreme Court as the project was envisaged to be built in the sensitive Nilgiri biosphere, Mr Krishna said, ''it is better to wait until a popular government comes into existence and then settle the issue amicably''.

He also pointed out that Cauvery waters issue is an inter-state matter and it cannot be decided unilaterally.

Mr Krishna said 'Provocative remarks should not be aired from both the sides''.

UNI GD/MV RP KN1746

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