Mahadayi letter ‘legally perfect’; no compromise on Goa’s interests: Parrikar

I replied because Yeddyurappa wrote to me. I trust him, says Goa Chief Minister

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has stuck to his stand that his letter to Karnataka BJP chief B.S. Yeddyurappa on the Mahadayi dispute was “legally perfect”. He declined to accept that Goa’s interests was compromised in any manner owing to his letter.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Parrikar said he chose to write to Mr. Yeddyurappa and not to the Chief Minister because he “does not trust those who are currently governing Karnataka.” However, should Karnataka Chief Minister write to him he would reply suitably, he added. “I replied because Mr. Yeddyurappa wrote to me. I trust him,” he said.

Stirs a hornets’ nest

Mr. Parrikar’s letter to Mr. Yeddyurappa, expressing willingness to hold talks on Mahadayi water sharing for drinking, has stirred a hornets’ nest in Karnataka and Goa.

“The letter is very much within the legal framework and there is no compromise on the interest of the State. In fact, I can produce documentary evidence on how the Congress compromised on Goa’s interest over Mahadayi prior to 2000,” Mr. Parrikar said.

Interestingly, on Wednesday, Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar had dismissed the Chief Minister’s letter as a “political stunt” and said the State will not share even “a drop of Mahadayi water” with Karnataka.

Responding to this, Mr. Parrikar said such statements are obtained by the media by “nagging”. He claimed that he has briefed his Cabinet colleagues over his letter and his Council of Ministers had full confidence in him on the issue. He reiterated his stand that the State will not fall for any pressure on the Mahadeyi issue.

When asked about his statement in the State Assembly in 2012 as the Chief Minister that he would not listen to his party leaders over the Mahadayi issue, Mr. Parrikar went on to say: “Being in the field of politics, you are bound to take some decisions but we will not decide on anything that will compromise the interest of the State.”

He reminded that Additional Solicitor-General Atmaram Nadkarni, who is Special Counsel for Goa in the Mahadayi Water dispute case in tribunal, had stated that the letter was within the stand of Goa in the tribunal.

When asked about the alleged “political misuse” of the letter by a BJP leader, who is using it at public meetings to garner support for BJP ahead of the State elections, Mr. Parrikar quipped: “You ask him if you think he is misusing it. Why are you asking me?”

Mr. Parrikar claimed that the Congress in Goa had no right to make noise as they had compromised on the issue of Mahadayi water sharing prior to 2000. “I have the papers to prove it and I will do it on the floor of the House in the Budget session, which will begin on February 19,” he said

Mr. Parrikar also said that the government was preparing a list of journalists, NGOs and activists having good knowledge and expertise over Mahadayi and will present them as witnesses in the Mahadayi case before tribunal.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 2:50:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mahadayi-letter-legally-perfect-no-compromise-on-goas-interests-parrikar/article22320716.ece

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