KARNATAKA

Panel formed to fight Govt. `lapses'

Bangalore Nov. 13. A coordination committee of Opposition parties and a number of non-political organisations has been set up to formulate a plan to fight the Government over its "lapses" on the Cauvery row and other major issues.

High on the list of priorities of the committee is the release of the former minister, H.Nagappa, from the clutches of the forest brigand, Veerappan, according to the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Jagadish Shettar.

Announcing the unanimous decision on the formation of the committee taken at the meeting of representatives of various Opposition parties and organisations of farmers and Kannada protagonists convened by him today, Mr. Shettar said the meeting favoured an agitation to protest against the failure of the Government on several fronts.

The BJP leader said as far as the abduction of Mr. Nagappa was concerned, the meeting regretted that the Government's response was not satisfactory, and agitation was inevitable. To start with, protest meetings would be held in Chamarajanagar and Mysore districts. This would be followed up by dharnas, picketing of government offices, and jail bharo in district and taluk headquarters.

Regretting the lack of response from the Chief Minister to their plea that he meet his Tamil Nadu counterpart, Jayalalithaa, to find a solution to the problem, Mr. Shettar said they would wait for two or three days more. If there was no response even then, the Opposition planned to take a delegation to the Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee, and the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K.Advani, to urge them to advise the two chief ministers to meet to find a solution, and also consider joint action by the Centre and the States.

According to Mr. Shettar, the meeting discussed exhaustively various issues affecting the people, and particularly the situation that has arisen due to the "wrong steps" taken by the Government at every stage in the Cauvery river water dispute, and its failure to effectively deal with the drought situation.

Prominent leaders who attended the meeting were the former ministers, P.G.R.Sindhia, S.S.Patil, and M.P.Prakash (JD-U), M.C.Nanaiah (JD-neutral), the BJP's Deputy Leader in the Legislative Council, "Mukhyamantri" Chandru, the Convenor of the Cauvery Hitaraksahna Samiti, Mandya, G.Made Gowda, the representatives of Kannada organisations, Vatal Nagaraj and G.Narayana Kumar, and the President of the Rajkumar Fans' Association, S.R.Govindu.

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