Parrikar defends letter: Goa’s interests not compromised

‘Journalists, activists with knowledge of Mahadayi to be presented before tribunal’

Panaji: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said his letter to Karnataka BJP chief B.S. Yeddyurappa on the Mahadayi water dispute is “legally perfect”, and that Goa’s interests have not been compromised due to the letter.

“The letter is very much within the legal framework, and there is no compromise on the interests of the State. I have documentary evidence to show how the Congress compromised Goa’s interests over the Mahadayi prior to 2000,” Mr. Parrikar said at a press briefing after a Cabinet meeting.

Mr. Parrikar said the Congress has no right to make a noise. “I will produce the papers in the House in the upcoming budget session which begins on February 19.”

“Being in the field of politics, you are bound to take decisions, but we will not decide on anything that would compromise the interests of the State.” He pointed to the statements given by Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni, who is the special counsel in the Mahadayi water dispute case in the tribunal, that the letter is within the stand of Goa.

When asked about the political misuse of the letter by the BJP leader, who is allegedly flashing it at public meetings to garner support for the BJP ahead of the State elections, Mr. Parrikar said, “Ask him about it if you think he is misusing it. Why are you asking me?”

About the statements made by ministers, including Minister for Water Resources Development Vinod Paliecar, that not even a drop of the Mahadayi will be given, the CM said such statements are obtained by media by nagging and thrusting mike in the mouth.

He said that he has briefed his Cabinet colleagues about the letter and his council of ministers has full confidence in him. “I have said it in the past and now also I say it, I don’t come under anybody’s pressure. I replied because Mr. Yeddiurappa wrote to me. I trust him,” he said, referring to his statement in the Assembly in 2012 as the CM that he would not even listen to his party leaders over the Mahadayi issue.

Replying to a question about why he should not write to the Karnataka Chief Minister, he said he does not trust people governing Karnataka. “However, should Karnataka CM write to me, I will reply suitably.”

Mr. Parrikar also said that the government is preparing a list of journalists, NGOs, and activists with good knowledge of the Mahadayi, and will present them as witnesses before the tribunal. Mr. Parrikar’s letter to Mr. Yeddyurappa expressing willingness to give drinking water to Karnataka on humanitarian grounds, following the intervention of BJP national president Amit Shah, has raised a storm in Goa.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 6:53:41 PM |

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