All-party meeting on Mahadayi water dispute ends in deadlock

Failing to arrive at a consensus, Siddaramaiah decides to write to Prime Minister yet again

Updated - January 28, 2018 05:02 pm IST

Published - January 27, 2018 10:26 pm IST - BENGALURU

An all-party meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday, to resolve the Mahadayi water-sharing dispute with Goa, failed to arrive at a consensus. It culminated with Mr. Siddaramaiah saying he will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention, yet again.

While BJP members wanted the Congress to convince their party leaders in Goa to allow Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to settle the issue amicably, the JD(S) and the Congress were for seeking Mr. Modi’s intervention in the matter.

Karnataka has been appealing to Goa to share 7.56 tmcft of water from the Mahadayi for drinking purposes to ease the situation in drought-hit Hubballi-Dharwad, Gadag, Bagalkot, and Belagavi districts. At present, the issue is pending before the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, and Karnataka is keen on an out-of-court settlement.

Mr. Siddaramaiah, who called the meeting after the Statewide bandh on Thursday, said he would write to Mr. Modi asking him to make time to meet an all-party delegation from the State.

'Ready to attend any meeting'

Mr. Siddaramaiah also said he would be ready to attend any meeting convened by Mr. Parrikar in Goa to discuss the issue.

Earlier, Jagadish Shettar and K.S. Eshwarappa, leaders of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and Council, respectively, and Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi (BJP) indulged in a heated exchange with JD(S) MLA N.H. Konaraddi when the latter said the Prime Minister should convene a meeting of Chief Ministers of Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra for resolving the issue expeditiously. BJP leaders, particularly Mr. Shettar told JD(S) and Congress leaders not to put pressure on Mr. Modi on the matter. They said Mr. Siddaramaiah should make efforts to convince his party leaders in Goa to come to the negotiating table.

Interestingly, Goa’s Water Resource Minister Vinod Palyekar has been opposing water sharing and he had vehemently opposed Mr. Parrikar’s letter to BJP State President Yeddyurappa expressing his willingness for talks.

Several Ministers, including M.B. Patil, H.K. Patil, and T.B. Jayachandra, attended the meeting. JD(S) leaders H.D. Kumaraswamy, Basavaraj Horatti, and H.D. Revanna did not attend the meeting.

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