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Wednesday , June 21 , 2000
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GCCI flays Medha Patkar


AHMEDABAD, JUNE 20: Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has deplored ``the escapist and cowardly stand'' taken by Medha Patkar of Narmada Bachao Andolan in refusing GCCI's invitation to participate in a healthy and open debate on the need for expeditious completion of Narmada project.

A press-note issued by GCCI president Mukesh Patel pointed out that Patkar's refusal to participate in the debate reflected her ``sad lack of'' empathy with the millions of people and animals of Gujarat which was reeling under a severe drought.

Reacting to Patkar's questioning the credibility of the GCCI as a fair-minded and neutral organisation for organising a debate, he said the NBA leader's allegation was a ``blatant lie which is far from truth''. In fact, it seems to have been concocted as a mere excuse to ``mischievously wriggle out'' of the invitation to participate in the debate, Patel states.

He also stated that the GCCI, which has its own standing, did not need a certificate of credibility from Patkar.

He further pointed out that after having blown her trumpet on hypothetical issues of environment, ecology and rehabilitation for all these years, she now claimed that the Narmada water would never quench the thirst of the drought-prone areas of Gujarat.

In fact, this was the issue which could have been discussed in the debate, but her ``myopic vision through tinted glasses and closed mindset'' has not enabled her to even objectively face and hard realities in a fair and sporting debate, the press-note further said.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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