Now, Parrikar says Mahadayi issue to be fought before tribunal

Now, Parrikar says Mahadayi issue to be fought before tribunal

Making a U-turn on Mahadayi river water sharing issue, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that ongoing dispute with Karnataka will be fought before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal.

Parrikar, who has been facing flak over his letter on the dispute to Karnataka BJP president B S Yeddyurappa last December, today blamed the media for "making an issue out of a non-issue".

In his missive sent to Yeddyurappa, Parrikar had said Goa could share the river water with Karnataka for drinking purposes and expressed his willingness for bilateral talks.

The letter created a controversy as it was addressed to the BJP leader instead to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who represents the state government.

The letter, which was viewed as a political gambit by Parrikar ahead of assembly polls in the Congress-ruled southern state, had evoked a sharp reaction from Siddaramaiah and various opposition parties.

Mahadayi river riparian states Karnataka and Goa, besides Maharashtra, have been locked in a bitter dispute over sharing of the water.

While addressing media persons today over his recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, Parrikar blamed media for blowing the Mahadayi issue out of proportion.

"Mahadayi issue is created by you (media) for the sake of news. The fight over distribution of Mahadayi river water is before the tribunal and we will fight it there," he said when asked if the issue came up for discussion during his meeting with the prime minister.

The Mahadayi (called Mandovi in Goa) originates in Karnataka and flows to Goa and Maharashtra.

The water sharing issue is politically sensitive one, especially in five north Karnataka districts.

The southern state is going to polls later this year.

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