KARNATAKA

JD(U) to launch agitations from tomorrow

Bangalore Oct. 31. The Janata Dal (United), which has chalked out a series of agitations against the State Government from November 2, has demanded that the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, resign if "he has any sense of decency and shame, and sensitivity, following the bungling on the Cauvery issue and the consequent observations of the Supreme Court".

The party leaders, led by the State unit President, C. Byre Gowda, and the floor leader in the Legislative Assembly, P.G.R. Sindhia, today submitted a memorandum to the Governor, T.N. Chaturvedi, requesting him to urge the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, to immediately summon a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to revise its directions on the release of water.

However, though they demanded that the Government suspend the release of water, they said the orders of the Supreme Court should be complied with.

Among the leaders present were the former Speaker, Ramesh Kumar, B.N. Bachche Gowda, M.P. Prakash, M. Shankar Naik, D. Ashwathnarayan Reddy, K. Jayaprakash Hegde, Basavaraja Rayaraddi, A.B. Patil, and A.R. Krishnamurthy, MLA.

Briefing presspersons after meeting the Governor, Mr. Byre Gowda, Mr. Prakash, Mr. Sindhia, and Mr. Ramesh Kumar said the Chief Minister had no moral right to continue in office since he had repeatedly betrayed the faith reposed in him by the Opposition parties and the people. "He has gone back on his promises merely to save his position and derive political mileage. This is the time for him to undertake a padayatra to Mandya, when curfew has been clamped and the farmers are shattered following the release of Cauvery water from the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir."

Mr. Byre Gowda said the Chief Minister had been inconsistent in his stand after the failure of the southwest monsoon. Soon after the directions of the apex court, water was released. Release was suspended following the death of Guruswamy, who jumped into the Kapila river. Following that incident, the Chief Minister chose to defy the orders of the Supreme Court, and said water would not be released. However, after the serious observations of the Supreme Court during the course of the hearing of the contempt petition filed by Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister had ordered the release of an excess quantity of water from the K.R.S. reservoir, he alleged.

Mr. Prakash said the JD(U) had no other choice but to launch agitations seeking his resignation. The party leaders would stage a dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue here on November 2, he added.

Mr. Sindhia demanded the withdrawal of curfew clamped in five taluks of Mandya District, and the release of political leaders and their supporters. Mr. Ramesh Kumar said Mr. Krishna should have weighed his words before making utterances on serious issues.

Abduction

In the memorandum to the Governor, the JD(U) highlighted its dissatisfaction over the poor response from the Government to the abduction of the former minister, H. Nagappa, by the forest brigand, Veerappan, over two months ago. The JD(U) drew the attention of the Governor to the shabby treatment meted out to the former minister, K.N. Nage Gowda who, along with his supporters, was arrested.

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