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'Narmada Authority decision due to political bias'

Written by: Staff

Hindupur, Apr 16: Taking note of the stalemate on Narmada dams height, Leader of the Opposition L K Advani spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to express his strong displeasure against attempts to stop the construction on Sardar Sarovar dam for political reasons.

Mr Advani, who is undertaking his Bharat Suraksha Yatra told newspersons that he had told Dr Singh it was a sad day for Indian democracy if democratically elected Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi is to go on a hunger strike to quench the thirst of his people and in defence of the height permitted by the Supreme Court.

''I heartily commend Gujarat CM's decision to go on 51 hour hunger strike at Sabarmati Ashram from today. A delegation of Gujarat MPs will be calling on Prime Minister today to convey their sentiments to him. The government is making a mockery of Bharat Nirman scheme undertaken by the Congress government in Gujarat.''

Mr Advani said the PM seemed to show that there was a division among the six-member NCA panel under the chairmanship of Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz. Firstly there were no differences among the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan who were all directly concerned with the project. They unanimously want construction of the dam to a permissible height.

Within Gujarat, ruling BJP and opposition Congress were united on Narmada issue but at the same time besides Mr Soz, Union Envirionment Minister A Raja and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh wanted the suspension of the work is highly revealing.

''This only shows that the Centre has surrendered before the anti-dam activists who wanted the government to stop further work against the wishes of the Supreme Court,'' he said.

He said ''I hold the Prime Minister responsible for indecision, drift and bias and abdication of responsibility in an important Centre-state issue. The anti-dam activists were unconcerned with the welfare of water-parched Gujarat areas and Mr Soz did not discharge his duties as Water Resources Minister.'' Asked for the Prime Minister's response to his reaction, Mr Advani said his response was 'positive'.


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