All-party meet fails to break Mahadayi deadlock

Despite BJP's opposition, CM to write to Narendra Modi
Last Updated 27 January 2018, 18:11 IST

An all-party meeting convened by the state government to discuss the Mahadayi river water dispute on Saturday failed to take any major decision as the BJP did not agree to any of the  suggestions aired.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who chaired the three-hour-long meeting, later told the media that despite BJP's disagreement, he has decided to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking an audience.

He said that if Modi agrees, he will lead another all-party delegation to New Delhi and urge him to convene a meeting of chief ministers of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka to resolve the water dispute. Siddaramaiah said that he is still willing to hold talks with Goa, provided his counterpart Manohar Parrikar convenes a meeting. He said that he will even hold talks with the Goa Congress, if the meeting becomes a reality.

"Till date, the Goa chief minister has not responded to my letter. But if he invites me for talks, then I'm more than willing to accept the invitation. I will not stand on prestige, though it will be a protocol violation. I will do it in the interest of the farmers and the state," he said.

Siddaramaiah said that if Goa fails to respond to Karnataka's overtures, then he will write to the prime minister about taking an all-party delegation to him. "I conveyed this during the meeting, but the BJP leaders did not agree to either of these suggestions. They want me to hold talks with the Goa Congress. I will do it if Parrikar convenes the meeting," he added.

BJP leaders D V Sadananda Gowda, Pralhad Joshi, Jagadish Shettar among others, who had heated arguments with Water Resources Minister M B Patil, insisted that AICC president Rahul Gandhi intervene and convince the protesting opposition Congress in Goa about Karnataka's requirement.

The meeting, however, is said to have resolved to demand the removal of Atmaram Nadkarni, who is representing Goa in the courts, as the additional solicitor general.

Karnataka has sought 7.56 tmcft water from Goa to meet the drinking water requirement. As the matter is scheduled to come up for hearing before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal from February 6, the government is continuing to explore the possibilities of an out-of-court settlement, as demanded by the protesting farmers.

DH News Service

(Published 27 January 2018, 17:52 IST)

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