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|August 6, 1998||
Second round of Cauvery talks fail to arrive at consensus
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's second meeting with the chief ministers of the riparian states to solve the contentious Cauvery issue failed to make much headway.
Following the failure of the first round on Thursday, he had called for a second meeting at his home in the evening.
A third meeting will take place on Friday.
Though Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Karunanidhi and Karnataka Chief Minister J H Patel, the main contenders in the vexed dispute, stuck to their respective stances, an official spokesman described the second round as ''productive.'' He said the government was hopeful of finding a solution as there were positive indications from the main contenders.
Karnataka, which had strongly opposed any move to set up a river valley authority, seemed to have slightly softened its position by evening. It said it was willing to accept the authority with certain conditions, one of these being that such an authority be headed by the prime minister himself. The four chief ministers concerned would be its members.
However, Patel, when asked to comment on the government version that things were ''productive and optimistic,'' said he disputed the assessment.
Karnataka wants the functioning of the authority to be based on consensus, and the Centre should prepare the package accordingly. This issue was deliberated at the all-party meeting of Karnataka leaders, convened by Patel.
On the other hand, Karunanidhi described the talks as 'progressing' and reiterated the state's stand that there should be a river valley authority under the Inter-state Disputes Act.
Earlier, the prime minister had said the country needs to evolve an appropriate national water policy to resolve inter-state water disputes amicably.
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