Siddaramaiah to BJP: Set up talks with Goa Congress

Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday offered to try and convince Congress leaders of Goa about the need to release Mahadayi river water to Karnataka once  Goa Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar showed his willingness for an amicable settlement.

Emerging from an all-party meeting to discuss the dispute, he told reporters, “If the Goa Chief Minister responds to my recent letter and calls for a meeting on the issue, I will also make an honest effort to convince Congress leaders there to release water to Karnataka.”

He disclosed that except for the BJP, those present at the meeting decided to lead an all- party delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his intervention in the issue if there was no response to his letter to Goa in a day or two. 

“I  expect the state BJP’s participation and co-operation in this.  The Prime Minister can intervene by calling a meeting of Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra,” he added.

Meanwhile, the BJP  accused Mr Siddaramaiah of using the issue for his own political ends by calling for the Prime Minister’s intervention, instead of trying to persuade Congress leaders of Goa, who were against sharing of water with Karnataka.

Underlining  that the BJP would take the responsibility of persuading the Goa and Maharashtra Chief Ministers to share Mahadayi water with the state,  its state unit chief, B S Yeddyurappa questioned Congress president,  Rahul Gandhi and former AICC president,  Sonia Gandhi’s silence on the issue.

“Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Rahul Gandhi should have rebuked the Goa Congress chief for his statement about not releasing even a drop of water to Karnataka,” Union Minister for statistics, D. V. Sadananda Gowda  told reporters.

Karnataka wants 7.56 tmcft water for its Kalasa-Banduri Nala project from the river in Goa to provide drinking water to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and  the districts of Belagavi and Gadag.

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