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No politics in our visit: Naidu

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, JULY 21. "There is no politics involved. We are leaving for Delhi this evening as part of an all-party delegation to impress upon the Centre to convince the Karnataka Government to release 50 tmc of water from Alamatti," said the Leader of the Opposition, N. Chandrababu Naidu.

He told presspersons in the Assembly lobbies on Wednesday that while the appointment to meet the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was fixed, they had sought an interview with the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi. "When everything seems to be happening with her knowledge, we see no harm in approaching her," he said, reiterating that since the Congress is in power in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and at the Centre, they did not anticipate any problems with regard to release of water by the Karnataka Government. Mr. Naidu said since Alamatti did not have ayacut, it did not require water now. Also, being in the upper reaches, Karnataka would anyway benefit from fresh rain, and the water could be used now or stored, he said.

While people in many districts in the State were facing acute shortage of drinking water, farmers are desperate to get water for their crops, he said. "This is the point we would emphasise in our demand for water to be released to Andhra Pradesh," he said.

He taunted the Congress for touting the cloud-seeding operation as a `novel concept,' recalling how the TD government had done it in the past in Rayalaseema. "There was some rain in Anantapur district," he said.

Mr. Naidu said they would try to meet as many VVIPs as possible, including the President, Abdul Kalam, and the Vice-President, B.S. Shekhawat.

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