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Modi meets PM, discusses gas price parity, Narmada dam height

IANS

NEW DELHI GUJARAT Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought his intervention on issues related to the state.

Modi, who met the prime minister for the first time after the assembly elections December last year, said the 45-minute meeting was a good one.

“The prime minister has assured me that he will be providing all necessary help for the people of Gujarat,” Modi told reporters after the meeting at the prime minister’s 7 Race Course Road residence.

“It was a good meeting. We spoke for quite a while on various issues,” he said, adding that he submitted a memorandum to the prime minister. The Gujarat government said in a release that the prime minister congratulated Modi for his new term and progressive development in Gujarat.

Modi said he also spoke to Manmohan Singh on the issue of differential gas pricing in Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat. “We are having a legal fight with the centre.

The gas price in Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat was different. We had gone to court and won. But the centre had approached Supreme Court and efforts are being made to delay the implementation of the order.” “The prime minister has assured me that he will look into all these issues himself and try to expedite the decisions,” he said.

A Gujarat government spokesperson said Modi discussed raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam and sought the prime minister’s intervention on permission for construction of spillway piers to full height, bridge and installation of gates at the dam site.

The height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was raised to 121.92 metres in December 2006, whereas the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of the dam is 138.68 metres.

By raising the FRL the storage capacity will get enhanced to almost three times the present capacity and would facilitate additional irrigation potential of 6.8 lakh hectares and nearly 40 percent additional power generation, the spokesperson quoted Modi as having told the prime minister.

According to the spokesperson, Modi also raised issues like the regulation of BT cotton seeds prices that impacts farmers.

Meanwhile, riot police fired water cannon on Wednesday at hundreds of students outside a college in New Delhi who were protesting at an appearance by Modi.

Modi, tipped to be the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate for prime minister in elections next year, was speaking at the Sri Ram College of Commerce.

The high-profile visit to the capital was intended to stress his leadership credentials.

But the address was overshadowed by the scenes outside where large numbers of students had gathered, chanting slogans and carrying banners such as “Killer Modi Go Back.

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