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|June 19, 1998||
Deve Gowda riled by Karunanidhi's letter to international funding agency against Cauvery project
Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda today accused Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi of setting a bad precedent by writing directly to an international funding agency to stop a loan for another state.
Talking to the media in Bangalore, he urged the Centre to write to the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund to release the Rs 12.40 billion aid to Karnataka for the fourth-stage Cauvery drinking water project.
The Centre should apply its mind and take necessary action as otherwise, every state would start approaching international agencies directly, thus affecting Centre-state relations, he said.
Deve Gowda, who had also written to Prime Minister A B Vajpayee in this regard, said the issue did not concern Tamil Nadu at all as the state had assured that it would take the necessary 9.46 TMC ft of water proposed for the fourth stage of the Cauvery drinking water project for the city from its own share of the Cauvery water.
Moreover, the issue should not crop up now as the project was expected to be completed only in 2001, he added.
The national water policy adopted by the national water resources council in September 1987 under the leadership of late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had given the highest priority to drinking water, he recalled.
In his letter to Vajpayee, Deve Gowda had said it was unfortunate that the Tamil Nadu government, in gross violation of the basic principles of the federal system of governance, had chosen to directly write to an external funding agency advising them to stop funding for the project. Linking the project with the implementation of the interim order of the Cauvery water dispute tribunal had absolutely no relevance, he said.
Deve Gowda also took strong objection to the BJP-led government sending teams to states to review law and order situation, and said the governors of the respective states should resign in protest against the Centre's move.
He said sending official teams to review law and order situation in the states was not only an encroachment of the powers of the governors, but would spoil Centre-state relations.
Law and order was a state subject, and sending teams to assess the situation amounted to insulting governors, he added.
He said he congratulated the West Bengal government for not cooperating with the so-called central team sent to the state and cautioned the BJP government against playing "this type of politics" to satisfy the alliance partners.
He said when he was prime minister, he had convened a meeting of the inter-state council in which all the chief ministers present, cutting across party affiliations, had unanimously agreed to accept the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission on Centre-state relations. Only the recommendation regarding the use of Article 356 was referred to a sub-committee, he added.
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