TAMIL NADU

Provide Krishna water first, Karunanidhi tells Naidu

CHENNAI Aug. 10. The DMK president, M.Karunanidhi, today said Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh could jointly fight Karnataka for their share of water after Andhra Pradesh gave the State the mutually agreed quantum of Krishna water.

Mr.Karunanidhi was reacting to comments by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N.Chandrababu Naidu, during his recent visit to the city.

Mr.Naidu stated that the rights of the lower riparian States should be protected and that Tamil Nadu and his State were the worst sufferers.

According to a 1983 agreement between the two States, Andhra Pradesh was to give Tamil Nadu 15 tmcft each year. Tamil Nadu never received this amount of "Krishna water" in any year, he said.

On Mr.Naidu welcoming the Supreme Court observation on the right to strike by government employees, Mr.Karunanidhi said generally no one in power liked the idea of a strike. "Consider what the former West Bengal Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu, has to say on the Supreme Court observation," he said.

Mr.Karunanidhi welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K.Advani's observation that the law on Ayodhya had to wait for a consensus and the Human Resource Development Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi's statement that the Ministry would consider declaring Tamil a classical language. He hoped that the Minister would discuss the issue with the Prime Minister and take a good decision at an early date.

Asked if the Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption sought an interview with him on the charge that his Government paid the bandit, Veerappan, to secure the release of the Kannada film actor, Rajkumar, he said there was no such request. "If they come, I will tell them all that the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, told the Assembly, what the Chief Secretary stated and what the Collector has said."