Rejecting reports that the NDA government in Goa has backtracked from its assurance to give drinking water from Mahadayi river to Karnataka, BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao on Wednesday accused the Congress-led Karnataka government of “trying to mislead the people”.
Rao said, “Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had no objections in sharing drinking water with Karnataka. He had agreed to (give Karnataka) 7 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) water from Mahadayi river for drinking purpose. The ( Mahadayi Water Dispute) Tribunal is dealing with the (issue of) sharing water for irrigation and other purposes.” Reiterating that there is “no objection for giving drinking water”, Rao said, “He (Parrikar) has said water cannot be given to a city where the (river) basin is different.”
Rao said the Karnataka government wants water to be given to different basins. “The Congress has historically taken the wrong position,” he said. “The Congress wanted to make the issue a liability for (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, but now it has become an issue for it (Congress). I would like to ask the Congress party to bring a letter from its Goa unit where they agree to share drinking water.”
Rao mentioned that Parrikar had given a letter to BJP’s Karnataka unit chief B S Yeddyurappa. On Tuesday, The Indian Express reported that Goa, in its submission to the Tribunal, has opposed 12 projects proposed by Karnataka in Western Ghats, and that Karnataka’s demand for water is not for drinking but for irrigating its sugarcane crop areas.