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Congress call for Gujarat Bandh tomorrow over SSP imbroglio

Written by: Staff
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Ahmedabad, Apr 15 (UNI) The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has called for a ''Gujarat Bandh'' tomorrow to protest against the current impasse, hindering early completion of the Sardar Sarovar Project.

A delegation of Congress leaders will also meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow to present Gujarat's case on the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP).

Addressing a press conference here today, GPCC spokesman Hasmukh Patel said the ''bandh'' call has been given to lend voice to the strong feelings of the people on the SSP which is the ''Lifeline of Gujarat''.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Purshottam Rupala, reacting to the Congress' ''bandh'' call, meanwhile, said his party will not oppose the ''bandh''.

Mr Patel said that although the Narmada Review Committee (NCA) had empowered the Prime Minister to take a decision on whether or not to stop work at the dam till the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) is completed, GPCC would also like to further clarify Gujarat's stand to him. Dr Singh has given time to us to meet him at 1100 hours tomorrow, he said.

The Gujarat delegation will be led by GPCC president Bharatsinh Solanki and Leader of Opposition Arjun Modhvadia. All the party MPs, including Central Ministers, are likely to join the State Congress delegation.

Mr Patel said the people and leaders of Gujarat, cutting across party lines, have unanimously supported the early completion of SSP ever since it was conceived in 1961.

Meanwhile, there has been rising discontent among the people over the current impasse. In Jamnagar, a large number of prominent people, including sadhus and mahants, city mayor Manhar V Jhala (belonging to BJP) and local Congress MLA Dinesh Parmar, staged a two-hour symbolic ''satyagraha'' in front of the Collectorate.

''Satyagrahas'' were also staged at Chandi Bazar and City Chowk for three hours.

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