The Indian government made it known that Bangladesh’s precondition for talks on Farakka that India should stop drawing any water from the barrage was “wholly unacceptable” to it. A ministry of external affairs spokesperson said India appreciated Bangladesh’s need for water during the lean months to meet its reasonable requirements for irrigation, fishing and other productive uses. India would never wish to do anything that might harm the legitimate interests of Bangladesh. He said the Bangladeshi media was making baseless allegations against India to arouse popular passions and to create an unnecessary scare.
Goray Meets Vinoba
The socialist leader, N.G. Goray, met Vinoba Bhave at the latter’s ashram near Nagpur. Goray spent nearly two hours with the Bhoodan leader. Thereafter, Goray left for Bombay to meet Jayaprakash Narayan.
DMK President M. Karunanidhi said he had deputed his former cabinet colleague, R. Rajaram, to meet the president, PM and home minister and hand over to them a letter given by him. In the letter, Karunanidhi emphasised that the DMK was not a party wedded to violence of any kind. “Our party believes that any problem should or could be approached and solved in a parliamentary, legal and democratic manner. I assure you that having regard to this basic approach of our party, none of the party leaders or partymen will either resort to or incite any violent agitation at any time,” the letter said.
King of Tonga
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the King of Tonga discussed bilateral economic matters and reviewed the situation in the South Pacific. King Taufa’ Ahau Tupou briefed PM Gandhi of the imperial powers’ bid to make their presence felt in the South Pacific. He expressed his appreciation of India’s technical assistance.