Karnataka: Yeddyurappa claims breakthrough in Mahadayi water dispute, CM calls it ‘gimmick’
The water sharing dispute is likely to become a major issue in 2018 assembly elections in the state.india Updated: Dec 22, 2017 10:27 IST
A day after meeting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah in New Delhi, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said a breakthrough in the Mahadayi water sharing dispute with Goa has been achieved, a claim rubbished by chief minister Siddaramaiah.
Yeddyurappa, the BJP’s chief ministerial face in the Karnataka assembly polls next year, called on Amit Shah to discuss the emotive issue on Wednesday.
Addressing a rally in Hubballi on Thursday, Yeddyurappa said Goa has agreed not to oppose the move to provide additional drinking water in parts of northern Karnataka.
He said the dispute was resolved at the meeting with Shah where Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar was also present.
Siddaramaiah, however, is quick to dismiss Yeddyurappa’s claim as a “political gimmick”, not willing to give any mileage to his opponent ahead of the assembly elections where the water dispute is likely to become a major issue.
The BJP is trying to wrest the state from the Congress.
Karnataka is locked in a dispute with Goa over a proposal to construct canals to divert water from the river’s tributaries for drinking and irrigation in Belagavi, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Gadag districts.
The Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal had, in an interim order last year, rejected Karnataka’s proposal to divert 7.56 tmc ft of water.
“Parrikar has written a letter to me... and assured that Goa will not oppose the demand for additional water on humanitarian grounds,” added Yeddyurappa, an influential Lingayat leader who led the BJP to its maiden victory in the southern state in 2008.
Parikkar’s letter to Yeddyurappa, however, does not provide any such explicit assurance. It states Goa is willing to consider the demand on humanitarian grounds, and discussions have to be conducted bilaterally.
“I appreciate your concern over the drinking water issue of the people and assure to extend the best possible cooperation in the matter,” Parrikar said in the letter.
Reacting to Yeddyurappa’s statement, Siddaramaiah said, “Who is Yeddyurappa to announce this?” He added, “I was told that a meeting would be convened after the Goa elections. But so far they have not come for discussions.”
Siddaramaiah said Parrikar should have written to the Karnataka government or filed an affidavit with the tribunal in this regard. “What is the inference one (can) draw? This is a political gimmick.”
First Published: Dec 22, 2017 10:27 IST