ANDHRA PRADESH

Krishna waters: Cong. says Govt. acted in haste

HYDERABAD Nov. 9. Congress leaders here on Saturday faulted the Government's decision to seek a tribunal on Krishna waters as one taken "in haste" despite the fact that it had one year to plan its counter. They demanded an all-party and intellectuals meet on the issue to strengthen the argument and not a haphazard attempt which could goof up AP's case later.

Talking to presspersons, its MLAs' P.Goverdhan Reddy and G.Chinna Reddy and the Nalgonda DCC president, Swami Goud said there was no need to prepare a counter argument against Karnataka in a great hurry now without consulting experts and opposition parties.

Several issues including the share of the Telangana region in the waters should be decided first and regional disparities should be set right before seeking the rightful share for the State. The reason the State was facing a problem on the irrigation front was not because of the opposition but because of the poor allocations made so far by the TD Government.

While Karnataka spent 60 per cent of its budgetary allocation on irrigation, Maharashtra allocated 50 per cent. But AP was way behind allocating just 22 per cent of the budgetary provision and even this it did not either release or spend completely, they said.

The Irrigation Minister, K.Srihari, was misleading the people by blaming the opposition while the fact remained that it was the Telugu Desam that was in power most of the time during the last two decades. The Congress was not against State interests as was being sought to be projected by the Minister whose knowledge of irrigation and its requirements was questionable, they said. The claim that experts were consulted in preparing the counter to Karnataka Government argument was also false.

On the demand of some Telangana leaders that the Congress MLAs' representing the region should seek separate seating arrangements in the Assembly, they said it was not the right time for such an action as the party's high command was not all tooo averse to the reorganisation of the State.

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