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Southern States - Karnataka Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

`Janata Parivar' to pressure Govt. to end hostage crisis

By S.Rajendran

Bangalore Sept. 24. The Janata Parivar, comprising the Janata Dal (S) and the Janata Dal (U) apart from the independent Janata Dal legislators, has decided to mount pressure on the State Government and the Centre to secure the release of the former minister, H.Nagappa, kidnapped by the forest brigand, Veerappan, about a month ago.

Sources told The Hindu here today that the State Government had not done much to secure the release of the former minister. The stepped-up operations of the Special Task Force only resulted in the forest brigand becoming incommunicado. The Government had received only two cassettes from Veerappan so far and the demand to send Kolathur Mani for negotiations made in the second cassette, in the view of the Janata Dal, was yet to be considered. It was for the Government to convince Mani to opt for parole.

The Janata Parivar leaders, under the leadership of the former chief minister, S.R.Bommai, have planned to call on the Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee, and seek his intervention in obtaining the safe release of the former minister. They have decided to call on the Defence Minister, George Fernandes, with whom they have been in touch in connection with the kidnap of Nagappa.

Sources told The Hindu that the delegation would leave for New Delhi after Mr. Bommai obtained an appointment with the Prime Minister.

Earlier, a group of 36 Janata Parivar legislators, led by the JD(U) Floor Leader in the Legislative Asembly, P.G.R.Sindhia, called on the Chief Minister, S.M.Krishna, and expressed its dissatisfaction over the steps taken by the Government to obtain the release of Mr. Nagappa.

The legislators have also decided to call on the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J.Jayalalithaa, if she gives them an appointment or at least convey their concern to her about the kidnap.

Mr. Bommai would try to contact the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister through the political commentator, Cho Ramaswamy. The Janata Parivar legislators held discussions with Mr. Bommai in the evening and urged him to quickly evolve a formula to bring about a merger of the JD(S) and the JD(U).

Sources told The Hindu that Mr. Bommai's view was that there was no need to float a national party and the JD(U) and the JD(S) could merge in a new outfit. While there would not be much of a problem in finalising the list of State office-bearers for the new outfit, it was the list of office-bearers for the national outfit which could delay the merger.

M.C.Nanaiah, P.G.R.Sindhia, A.B.Patil, S.S.Patil, Umesh Katti, and 20 other legislators were present.

Mr. Bommai would hold discussions with the two top leaders shortly. In all likelihood, the Bommai formula should be ready in about 20 days.

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