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|April 11 1998||
Vajpayee will not succumb to pressure from TN on Cauvery, says Patel
Karnataka Chief Minister J H Patel is confident that Prime Minister A B Vajpayee will not succumb to the pressure exerted by Tamil Nadu to notify the interim award of the Cauvery water dispute tribunal.
Patel, who returned from Delhi after meeting the prime minister on Thursday, told newsmen that they had a cordial meeting and discussed various issues relating to the state including the vexed Cauvery water dispute.
He said he had suggested to Vajpayee to convene a meeting of chief ministers of riparian states to solve the problem through dialogue, besides formulating a national water policy before the Supreme Court's verdict on the Cauvery water issue was out. Vajpayee, Patel said, had agreed to this proposal.
Asked about Karnataka Transport Minister P G R Sindhia's statement that he was feeling choked within the party, Patel said, "Anyone getting suffocated should search for fresh air". The suggestion was not for any particular person but would be relevant for anybody, he added.
On the fallout of such "suffocation", he denied any threat to his government from any direction. Stating that he was open to sorting out the problems of his party men, he said he would not invite or go on his own to discuss individually. Every party had problems as there was always differences of opinion between people, he added.
Regarding the move to bring together erstwhile socialists as requested by former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, Patel said he was unable to meet Shekhar this time, but he did met the latter's representative, he added.
Explaining the proposal, he said there was a move to revive the 'Janata Parivar' of the late Jayaprakash Narayan to create a platform to fight corruption, fundamental forces and communalism. He said he had also made this proposal to Vajpayee during their talks.
Patel said he had also discussed this issue with former Planning Commission deputy chairman Madhu Dandavate and Janata Dal president Sharad Yadav.
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