Farmers seek to resolve Mahadayi water dispute

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. DH file

Another major u-turn by Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, this time on the Mhadei water dispute, has put the BJP-led coalition government in a spot, with critics accusing him of putting the state's natural resources at stake, merely to boost BJP's chances in the upcoming Karnataka polls.

".Parrikar and Yeddyurappa both tried to play out a drama for the sake of elections (due in Karnataka early next year)", he told reporters in Haveri.

Sakhardande said the State is fighting the water dispute since 1997 and the case before the tribunal is in the final stage in favour of Goa and there was no need for the Chief Minister to give a letter to Karnataka's BJP president. BJP sources said that the party was looking to leverage the Mhadei issue in north Karnataka constituencies, especially in districts like Belgaum, Bagalkot, etc.

Questioning the propriety behind Parrikar's letter, KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao said Goa chief minister's action is an insult to Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah as he was sidelined from the whole process.

He alleged that the Congress had been doing politics over the Mahadayi issue from the beginning, and now Goa Congress unit president Shantaram Naik had opposed allowing Karnataka to utilise the river water for drinking goal.


The Karnataka government which had expressed its readiness for talks at "any place and date" to work out an amicable settlement, however, took exception to Parrikar not following "protocol by communicating his government's stand to Yeddyurappa instead of his Karnataka counterpart. He tried to play drama with farmers and has now got caught". "The Chief Minister is resorting to such tactics to scare people, who speak against his government or jihadi activities in the state".

"The letter is not under any political pressure".

The project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi river, to divert this amount of water to the Malaprabha which meets drinking water needs of the region.

Sources in the BJP said Yeddyurappa, who is now campaigning in North Karnataka, expressed his inability to come to the city and invited the protesting farmers to a meeting in Hubballi.

Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are now battling a dispute over the controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across the waters of the Mhadei river at a central tribunal.

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