Karnataka delegation urges PM to help overcome fertiliser shortage

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New Delhi, Jul 2 (UNI) A Karnataka delegation led by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to help in overcoming fertiliser shortage, reimbursement of Rs 1,880 crore worth cooperative crop loans waived by the state government and provide a special package for development of Bangalore infrastructure.

The delegation, which met Dr Singh, also sought amending article 371 of the Constitution similar to the one that governs Andhra Pradesh providing for regional reservation for socially and educationally backward districts of Hyderabad.

They also urged the government to accord Classical Language status to Kannada.

The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) parties, two major parties of Karnataka Assembly chose not to be part of this all party delegation, thereby reducing the importance of the visit.

These parties said they will take a separate delegation to highlight the problems of the state on July 6.

Mr Yeddyurappa chose to blame the JD (S), the party of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda as being responsible for setting a new trend to the polity of the state which always witnessed 'unanimity and positive response' from all political parties on the issues regarding development of the state, protecting its borders and waters.

"It is sad that the party of former Prime Minister and a former Chief Minister chose to set the new trend and it was surprising that the Congress too has refused to meet their own Party Prime Minister on an issue concerning Karnataka,'' he said.

He added that his was only a month-old government and the decision to take an all party delegation was taken in the Legislature and it was unfortunate that the two parties chose to stay away from the delegation.

The Chief Minister also expressed surprise over the Prime Minister's Office not allowing certain eminent personalities to be part of the delegation and those who were allowed to be part of the delegation were reduced to Chief Minister and few ministers and Chief Secretary.

The delegation apprised in detail the shortage of DAP and Complex fertilisers leading to law and order problem and high charges on Petrol and diesel to Karnataka compared to other neighbouring states.

The delegation also sought doubling of 'royalty/dead rent' on major minerals and fair share of power to the state from the Central power generating stations in southern region.

The delegation also called on Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy to discuss infrastructural problems confronting the state.

Asked about the response of Prime Minister, Mr Yeddyurappa said he had given a 'patient hearing' and the state was happy that it got a response that was 'more than expected'.

Mr Reddy was invited to visit Bangalore for an on-the-spot assessment of the infrastructural problems confronting the Information Technology capital of the country.

The delegation has plans to meet Culture Minister Ambika Soni and Finance Minister P Chidambaram tomorrow.

Several state ministers including Law Minister Suresh Kumar, Home Minister V S Achar, Public Works Minister C M Udasi, Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Revenue Minister Karunakara Reddy and Special Karnataka representative Subhash Bharani were part of the delegation that met Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

UNI MCN SR RK2044

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