They have sought release of water to Solapur, if it is a barter we will consider it: Shettar

With water scarcity staring north Karnataka in the face, the State government plans to send a delegation to Maharashtra in one or two days seeking release of Krishna waters from its reservoirs.

At his residence in Hubli on Wednesday, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told presspersons he had already spoken to the Maharashtra Chief Minister on the issue. “Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai will lead the delegation,” he said.

Mr. Shettar pointed out it was not the first time that Karnataka was seeking water from Maharashtra by paying for it. “In response to our request, they have sought release of water to Solapur. If it is a barter, then we will consider it in the mutual interest of both the States,” he said. He blamed the present dire situation on the inefficiency of earlier governments in the State.

Working on differences

Mr. Shettar admitted there were differences within the Bharatiya Janata Party over the allotment of party ticket. “We are strong in north Karnataka region, and there is a keen competition for ticket. That’s why I have camped here to sort out the minor differences within the party. We are trying to further strengthen the party in the region,” he said.

Without mentioning the name of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Mr. Shettar said the BJP was not dependent on any one leader to grow. He said there were lakhs of party activists who had helped the party to grow.

Rubbishing reports on a reported alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular), Mr. Shettar said there was no need for the party to enter into any alliance. “It is a fact that the people of Karnataka have only recognised national parties to represent them. There is no recognition for regional parties,” he said.

He said the Congress was the main Opposition in the State and in some places the BJP would face competition from the JD(S).

To a query, he said leaders like V. Somanna would not leave the BJP to join the Karnataka Janata Paksha. He said they would hold district-level conventions at Bagalkot and Belgaum shortly and all the BJP leaders would participate.

Mr. Shettar said the party would hold a State-level convention in Bangalore on April 8 in which national-level leaders, including the party’s national president Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj would participate.

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