The minister for irrigation, Kedar Pande, made it clear to Bangladesh that the formula for the sharing of the Ganga waters under the Farakka 1977 agreement was unacceptable to India. Speaking at the inaugural session of the 19th meeting of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint River Commission, Pande said the accord had burdened India with “disproportionate sacrifices”. This has given rise to a “great deal of frustration and resentment amongst our people”. He also underlined the need for a speedy solution to the problem. The unprecedented drought in the last season, demonstrated the inadequacy of the “existing flows for meeting our requirements,” Pande said. The unprecedented drought in the last season, demonstrated the inadequacy of the “existing flows for meeting our requirements,” Pande said. His Bangladesh counterpart Aziz Anwarul Haq said that the two sides were trying to understand each other.
The Centre today offered to hold talks with the Assam agitators immediately. The doors for “negotiations are open” and “we are trying to resolve the issue through talks, Home Minister Giani Zail Singh told Rajya Sabha. The Home Minister was responding to a declaration that conferred on the President, Assam legislature’s power to make laws for the state. He put up a stout defence of the bill which attracted heavy criticism of large sections of the Opposition. Meanwhile, the All Assam Students Union rejected the prime minister’s call for talks.
Talks With China
The External Affairs Minister P V Narasimha Rao has defended the government’s move to hold talks with China. “After all why should we not talk. Even enemies talk. And we are not enemies. We are neighbours,” he said in the Lok Sabha. Replying to a Congress (I) member’s emphasis on “caution”, Rao said, “caution should not be the be all and end all of India’s policy”. He said there was no change in India’s position on the Afghan issue. “We have taken a positive view of the Soviet withdrawal,” he said.