The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan on Thursday categorically made it clear that his government would respect the verdict of the Supreme Court regarding the inter-State Babli water dispute.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr. Chavan said that there is indeed no ambiguity that the water dispute is of very sensitive nature. But, as both the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are engaged in a legal battle over the sharing of the Godavari river waters, the verdict of the apex court naturally will be the final.

When asked to comment over the demand by the opposition Shiv Sena party to impose restrictions on the ‘burqa' system, he merely quipped saying that the issue was more related with the religious sentiments of the Muslim community and opined that there was no need for any political interference.

Reacting to a question on the growing naxal activities in the border districts of Maharashtra, he said that all the neighbouring States including Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Chhattisgarh should jointly fight to curb the menace as the issue was not confined to his State alone. Further, he expressed his desire to meet his A.P. counterpart K. Rosaiah for the allotment of a site atop the Tirumala town for the construction of a guest house on behalf of his government.

Mr. Chavan, who turned 53 on Thursday, reached the sacred abode of Lord Venkateswara along with family members and friends in a special flight to offer prayers at the hill temple. Soon after the darshan, the Maharashtra Chief Minister and his entourage flew back to Mumbai.