Union Minister for Water Resources P. K. Bansal said the stalemate between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra over constructions across the Godavari by the latter could be resolved through negotiations between their Chief Ministers in the Prime Minister's presence.

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah told reporters on Thursday after speaking to Mr. Bansal on telephone in the presence of TDP leaders that the Union Minister was confident about his (Mr. Rosaiah's) participation, but was sceptical about the Maharashtra Chief Minister's response.

“I told Mr. Bansal that it is the Centre's responsibility to call him,” he said.

Calls up Bansal

Mr. Rosaiah called Mr. Bansal in pursuance of his assurance in the Assembly which was rocked by the TDP's allegations that the Congress government had failed to stall construction of Babli and other illegal barrages across the Godavari by Maharashtra.

Mr. Rosaiah said he would meet Mr. Bansal in New Delhi on July 14.

Mr. Rosaiah informed the House that he was absent on Wednesday as he had to suddenly leave for New Delhi to meet Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for consultations on goods and services tax.

Responding to Mr. Naidu's charge that a person who was removed as Advocate-General was heading the legal team arguing before the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal on Krishna Waters, the Chief Minister expressed willingness to change him if the TDP leader suggested an alternative.

Negotiated settlement

Mr Rosaiah, however, remained non-committal on the suggestion of working for a political solution by prevailing upon the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson for a negotiated settlement. Besides Mr. Naidu, Tummala Nageswara Rao, E. Dayakar Rao (both TDP), B. Anil Kumar, K. Kannababu (both Praja Rajyam) and K. Sambasiva Rao (CPI) opined that only a political solution could solve the problem.

Altercation

The debate was marked by an altercation between the Chief Minister and Mr. Naidu, following the latter's charge that a Union Minister, during a meeting with a TDP delegation, had expressed helplessness to stop the illegal structures as “your Government is not showing any interest to protect its own interests.”

Mr. Naidu quoted a Maharashtra MP as saying that Maharashtra had launched work on Babli, taking advantage of the absence of TDP Government in AP.

The Chief Minister dared Mr Naidu to name the Union Minister so that he could write to the Prime Minister requesting him to control his Ministers.

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