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Krishna waters: Naidu to visit Bangalore soon

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD Sept. 9. The Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, will visit Bangalore soon for discussions with his Karnataka counterpart, S. M. Krishna, on the inter-State dispute over sharing of Krishna waters.

Mr. Naidu confirmed that he had received an invitation for talks from Karnataka but said he would announce the dates after discussions with his colleagues in the Cabinet and party. He indicated that an official delegation from Karnataka would visit Hyderabad to continue the dialogue initiated between the two States last week.

Speaking at a TDP meeting at NTR Bhavan here on Tuesday, Mr. Naidu said the invitation was in response to his Government's letter to Karnataka requesting release of water from Upper Krishna projects.

The TDP chief flayed the Congress for speaking in different voices on the question of supply of water to Krishna delta where the soil conditions permitted only wet crops, particularly paddy. Although it was a national party, it lacked consistency and its leaders spoke differently in different regions.

Referring to the ongoing protest in Kurnool district against release of water from the Srisailam reservoir till September 15, he said this was not feasible if the crops in Krishna delta were to be protected. Therefore, his Government had ordered the release of 5,000 cusecs while continuing to store about 15 tmcft in the Srisailam reservoir.

``Yet, the Congress leaders are bent upon provoking people. Once we get about 30 to 40 tmcft of water from Alamatti, we can consider various options,'' he added.

Mr. Naidu's said the Congress party's latest promise of phased implementation of prohibition coming on top of its earlier pledge to provide free power supply to farmers showed its desperation. Its allegation that the TDP was spending huge amounts of money to woo voters was an alibi for the Congress party's sure defeat in the polls, he added.

The TDP president was addressing Assembly constituency-level observers entrusted the task of supervising the `Intintiki Telugu Desam', a five-day door-to-door campaign by the party cadre from September 12 to explain his Government's achievements.

Mr. Naidu said there might be instances where the negative image of local party leaders was undoing the good work done by the Government. "Our performance will account for 50 per cent in the voters' perception of the TDP while the remaining 50 per cent will depend upon our relations with them.''

He gave them clear instructions to report back to the party high command whether the performance of their local MLAs and constituency in-charges was up to the mark. They must also objectively assess the morale of the cadre and the people's attitude towards the TDP.

Referring to the upcoming Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad in which athletes from 97 countries would be participating, Mr. Naidu said a team from the Commonwealth Games Secretariat would also be watching the event. On the success of these games would depend India's bid for the Commonwealth Games and perhaps even the Olympics, he added.

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