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Medha Patkar to continue hunger strike

Medha Patkar demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh take a decision at the earliest.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 20:23 IST

Amidst a stalemate over attempts to hammer out a solution to the Narmada imbroglio, NBA leader Medha Patkar on Saturday decided to continue with her hunger strike and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh take a decision at the earliest.

"We will wait and watch for the Prime Minister's decision, hoping that it would not breach the trust that the Supreme Court has placed in his position and stature," Patkar, who is spreaheading the anti-dam agitation, said in a statement in New Delhi.

Giving a political colour to the whole issue, Patkar said, "It is Modi's (Gujarat Chief Minister) politics, now hand in glove with Ahmed Patel, leader of Gujarat Congress, that gave the process a turn by making the matter referred to the Review Committee of the Narmada Control Authority."

Modi has announced to go on a 51-hour hunger strike from on Sunday to protest against the decision of the RCNCA to refer the issue to the Prime Minister.

"Thanks to the BJP's politics, not only Modi, but the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh also has with full knowledge of the gravity of the ground reality, decided to support Modi at the cost of farmers and their fertile lands," she said.

She also added, "it is in this context that the Prime Minister's vision and commitment is to be tested."

"We three -- Jamsingh Bhai Nargave, Bhagwatibai and myself - decide to continue our fast," the NBA leader said.

The RCNCA, which met here in the wake of the anti-dam agitation failed to achieve a breakthrough with Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan putting up a stiff resistance to the Centre's move to stop work on the project touted as 'Gujarat's lifeline'.

The decision taken by members of the review committee shows that, "it is party politics that has gone on," NBA activists in New Delhi said.

"We want that the Prime Minister should take a decision by tonight. There is no reason for him to delay," Booker award winning author and NBA activist Arundhati Roy said.

"It should be in accordance with the Supreme Court judgement which says there should not be any rise in the height of the dam without rehabilitation of those whose lands are facing submergence," another NBA activist Vinod Raina said.

The NBA also demanded that the report of the three-member ministerial team, comprising of Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar, Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz and Minister in PMO Prithviraj Chauhan, who visited the rehabilitation sites be made public.