Mahadayi row escaltes, Goa accuses state of bribing witnesses

Mahadayi row escaltes, Goa accuses state of bribing witnesses

Mahadayi row escaltes, Goa accuses state of bribing witnesses

Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palyekar has accused Karnataka of "paying" money to a witness to appear before a tribunal, which was looking into the dispute over the sharing of the Mahadayi river water between the two states.

Karnataka and Goa, the riparian states of the Mahadayi have been locked in a bitter battle over the sharing of the water. The matter is pending before the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.

In a series of tweets, Palyekar, who has been engaged in a war of words with the Congress government in Karnataka, made fresh accusations against the neighbouring state.

"Goa never paid for its witnesses. Our witnesses worked keeping in mind #GoemGoenkarGoemkarponn (interest of the state) in #Mahadayi matter (sic)," one of his tweets read.

"Unlike Karnataka witness A K Gosain who had confessed in tribunal that he was paid 50k per day by Karnataka for being the witness and 5 lakhs to prepare report (sic)," the minister further said.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday termed as "childish" accusations levelled by Palyekar that Karnataka was bribing witnesses to support them in the Mahadayi river water sharing dispute.

"It's an extremely irresponsible and childish statement," Siddaramaiah told reporters here. "Don't we also know to speak that way? This really shows their culture. It's wrong to indulge in politics over an issue like the Mahadayi."

Water Resources Minister M B Patil used stronger words to hit back at Palyekar. "We will not budge to you or thousands of people like you. Mahadayi is our right, not alms. Do not threaten us. We have done no wrong. Will get our rightful due," Patil tweeted.

Patil was responding to Palyekar calling the Karnataka government "habitual liars" and that Goa would file "contempt with photographic evidence" on the canal work that Karnataka has resumed at Kankumbi in Belagavi district allegedly against a Supreme Court order.

Patil also hit out at BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa. "Look what the fire you started has done," Patil tweeted. "I don't know if you (Yeddyurappa) will ever change. Will people spare you? There's no doubt people will teach you a lesson." The minister was referring to a letter that Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar wrote to Yeddyurappa last month, indicating Goa's willingness to part with water for drinking water purpose. Farmer groups and the ruling Congress have maintained that the letter was of little help.

In Hubballi, BJP leader Jagadish Shettar and Parlhad Joshi condemned Palyekar for his abusive remarks against Karnataka. Joshi urged Parrikar to take suitable action against Palyekar, terming his remarks irresponsible and disturbing for inter-state relations.