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Kerala keen on package for farmers, says Vaiko

By Our Staff Reporter

COIMBATORE, FEB. 10. Kerala is keen on evolving a "total package" which will benefit farmers in that State and also in Tamil Nadu, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary, Vaiko, has said.

After discussions with the Kerala Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, and the Irrigation Minister, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, Mr. Vaiko told presspersons here today that the response to water-related issues indicated that Kerala favoured a package that was mutually beneficial.

However, Mr. Vaiko said it would be inappropriate to provide details of the discussions now, as it might affect the ongoing efforts by both the States to address outstanding issues. All he would say was that each issue was discussed in detail.

"We are happy that our visit and the discussions will create an atmosphere for good understanding between the two sides in resolving these issues." The MDMK leader said it was wrong to say that "talks have failed or succeeded" with regard to the discussions held at all levels between the two States, as it was a continuous process. "There is no question of a win or a loss for either side. Nothing negative should be said."

Asked if he would apprise the State Government of what was discussed at Thiruvananthapuram, Mr. Vaiko said: "If the Government wants to know, it can approach us."

Cauvery issue

To a question whether he would lead a delegation to Karnataka on the Cauvery issue, he said: "Our visit to Thiruvananthapuram was based on the resolutions taken at the party's farmers' conferences at Palladam (near Coimbatore) and Vedasandur (near Madurai)," indicating that Cauvery did not figure in resolutions.

On the other hand, an MDMK team would meet the Chief Ministers of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh on the linking of the Mahanadi and the Godavari. "The focus is on linking the south flowing rivers."

Jayalalithaa flayed

Mr. Vaiko criticised the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, for attributing the reverses her party suffered in the Lok Sabha elections to mass deletion of names in certain constituencies. "Instead of learning lessons from the people's verdict, it is amusing that such charges are levelled." He wondered why the Chief Minister should declare that she could face polls anytime. Talk of early polls only indicated fear of defeat. But, the Assembly elections would hand out a more crushing defeat to the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) than the Lok Sabha polls, he said.

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