Goa minister calls Kannadigas 'harami'

Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar has reportedly called Kannadigas 'harami' (illegitimate or bastard).

Palyekar made the remarks while speaking to reporters in Goa, after visiting the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project site at Kanakumbi in Belagavi district on Saturday. The project aims to divert the Mahadayi river water at Kanakumbi in Khanapur taluk.

During his interaction with reporters in Goa, Palyekar said, "The Karnataka government is playing dirty politics over the Mahadayi dispute and had diverted the river water, which should flow in Goa."

To a query on why he sought security cover during his visit to the project site, Palyekar said: "Kannadiga people are 'harami' and can stoop to any level."

Though there was a Supreme Court stay on the project work, the Karnataka government had been carrying out the construction work, Palyekar stated.

Later, the minister asked journalists not to mention the abusive word. On Sunday, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah termed Palyekar's statement reprehensible.

"The abusive words used against #Kannadigas by @bjp4India Irrigation Minister from Goa are reprehensible, to say the least. However, we hold no grudge against the people of Goa. We will continue to strive to secure drinking water from #Mahadayi for out people," Siddaramaiah tweeted.

Palyekar is from the Goa Forward Party, which is part of the BJP-led alliance government in Goa.

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