Government not serious about resolving Babhali dam row: Naidu (Second Lead)

July 26th, 2010 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, whose attempted march to the Babhali dam last week led to tension in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as part of an all-party delegation but claimed later that the government was “not serious” about resolving the row.
Naidu said he was not satisfied with the prime minister’s response.

“The response was not at all satisfactory. Despite two meetings, he did not even convene meetings of the concerned people to sort out the problem,” the TDP leader told reporters outside the prime minister’s 7, Race Course Road residence here.

“The prime minister, Congress and the central government are not serious about resolving the issue,” he added.

However, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah said the prime minister had given an assurance that he would consider the matter seriously.

Rosaiah said: “He gave us 45-minutes patient hearing and all the participants spoke and expressed concern about the illegal construction by Maharashtra as a matter of principle. I requested him to look into the matter. I told him we are a lower riparian state. We discussed the matter seriously.”

“The prime minister said it was a delicate issue and he would look into it and consult the concerned department,” he added.

Actor-turned politician, Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi said: “The issue was discussed very seriously and the PM said it will be resolved amicably.”

“Our request to hold a chief minister’s meet including both Karnataka and Maharashtra. The prime minister said he has to first get the technical committee report, and then he will consider the request,” Chiranjeevi added.

The all-party delegation led by Rosaiah met the prime minister seeking his intervention in the Babhali dam row.

Andhra Pradesh has been protesting construction of the dam by Maharashtra, which it says is being built in violation of the river water sharing agreement and would prove detrimental to its interests.

An all-party meeting had been called by the Andhra Pradesh government last week, but the opposition TDP was not part of it.

The row over the Babhali dam escalated after Maharashtra Police arrested Naidu and 74 other TDP leaders July 17 while they were proceeding towards the dam. They were kept in judicial custody for four days before being forcibly sent back to Hyderabad by a chartered flight.

–Indo-Asian News service

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