ANDHRA PRADESH

Alamatti: TDP asks YSR to seek Sonia's intervention

HYDERABAD, JULY 24. Describing as `highly unfortunate' the lack of response from Karnataka to the plea of the State Government to release water from Alamatti dam to provide succour to the farmers in Krishna basin, the Telugu Desam Party has urged the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, to seek the intervention of the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, in bringing pressure on the neighbouring State.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, senior TDP leaders--K.Srihari and Ummareddy Venkateswarulu-- said that it was regrettable that Karnataka had turned a deaf ear to the advice of the Centre and to the pleas of the State Government to release water on `humanitarian grounds' and alleviate the suffering of the farmers.

Though Karnataka acted in a similar manner when the then Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, met his counterpart in Bangalore last year, it was hoped that it would respond positively this time in the wake of the all-party delegation's visit to Delhi as the Congress was in saddle in both States and at the Centre. With Karnataka rejecting the State's plea following Friday's Cabinet meeting, it was obvious that it was determined not to release the water.

Appeal to Karnataka

They appealed to Karnataka to immediately release 50 tmcft saying it would not face any problem as 105.35 tncft was being stored at Alamatti while the requirement was only 100 tmcft.

The Telugu Desam leaders wanted the Chief Minister to visit Delhi and meet the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and Ms. Sonia Gandhi and also call on the Karnataka Chief Minister, Dharam Singh, in Bangalore.

Meanwhile, addressing a separate press conference, the TDLP deputy leader, N. Janardhana Reddy, and the former Minister, M. Narsimloo, said the Congress and the TRS were creating confusion in people on the Telangana issue. They urged the Congress to clarify its stand and remove confusion in people.

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