GFP challenges Goa CM on Guv's Mahadayi remark

The chief minister had said on Friday that if required, he would not mind fighting with the the Union Environment Ministry over the river water

Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai (Photo by gov.goa.in)

After Goa Governor Satya Pal Malik said that the coastal state has been cheated on the Mahadayi river issue, the Goa Forward Party (GFP) has dared Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to say unequivocally whether he agreed with the statement or not.

GFP chief Vijai Sardesai also assured that his party stands by the Goa government if the chief minister intends to take up the cudgels with the Centre over the issue.

"Even as the governor very candidly said that Goa has been cheated on Mahadayi issue, our government has no word on it. It's my challenge to the government, state Water Resources Department (WRD) minister and the CM to make their stand clear whether Goa has been cheated or not," Sardesai said on Friday.

"He (CM) is unable to say anything. I call upon the Goa government to clarify as to what is their stand vis--vis the governor's statement. Whether they agree that Goa has been cheated or not. Let them come up with a one-line statement," he added.

In an interview to a local channel, the governor had said that Goa has been cheated on the issue of Mahadayi river, on which the Karnataka government plans to build Kalasa Banduri project, aimed at providing drinking water to its three districts.

Sawant has been facing criticism after Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar wrote to Karnataka on December 24 claiming that the latter does not require environment clearance (EC) for the Kalasa Bhanduri project.

The chief minister had said on Friday that if required, he would not mind fighting with the the Union Environment Ministry over the river water.

Sardesai added, "I am with the government, if they want to fight with the Centre over the Mahadayi issue."

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