'Goa CM's Mahadayi water diversion claims baseless'

Allegations of Mahadayi water diversion by Goa CM baseless: Jarkiholi

Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi. Credit: DH Photo

Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi refuted allegations made by Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that Karnataka diverted waters of Mahadayi river illegally, leading to depletion of the river's water table.

Daring Sawant to prove his claims, Jarkiholi also said that he wuld quit as a minister if the allegations were true.

Jarkiholi also said that Sawant's claims were merely for political gain.

The Mahadayi River Dispute Tribunal has given its verdict and allocated states their share of water, but we could not utilise them as works could not be commenced due to Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

The state had retained the wall built in Kalasa canal to prevent flow of water towards the state into river Malaprabha, he said.

On cabinet expansion, Jarkiholi said that the 17 MLAs who joined the BJP from Congress and facilitated the formation of B S Yeddiyurappa's government must be made ministers as assured. The minister said that he too has been lobbying for them and wanted MLC C P Yogeshwar to get a post.

He also stated that Textile Minister Shrimant Patil was among the 17 who joined BJP with him and would not be dropped from the cabinet.

Adding that his demand to make all those who joined BJP with him be made ministers was fair. Chief Minister Yediyurappa will decide on cabinet expansion or reshuffle.

Jarkiholi also stated that talks of chief minister change in Karnataka were rumours and Yediyurappa would complete his tenure and also lead the party in the next assembly elections.

Jarkiholi said he had been visiting New Delhi often for department works and for follow-up with concerned union ministers. During the visit, he also met party national leaders.

We have been trying to get national project status for Upper Krishna Project and Upper Bhadra Project, which will reduce financial burden on the state as the centre will share project costs, he said.