Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said that his Goa counterpart Manohar Parrikar’s letter to state Bharatiya Janata Party chief BS Yeddyurappa on a dispute over sharing the water of the Mahadayi river was an “election gimmick”, The Indian Express reported. Karnataka goes to the polls in 2018 and Yeddyurappa had talked about Parrikar’s offer during a rally in Hubballi on Thursday.
In his letter, Parrikar reiterated that his government would consider sharing a reasonable amount of water from the river with the southern state for its drinking water needs. “The government of Goa understands that access to drinking water is a basic human need,” the chief minister wrote. “Hence, it is to confirm to you that on humanitarian ground, the government of Goa is willing to consider the request to work out an amicable settlement strictly restricted to drinking water only to the drought-prone areas.”
Yeddyurappa had tweeted that in view of the offer, the chief minister of Karnataka should initiate discussions to find a solution.
“The chief minister of Goa must write to the government of Karnataka, or Mahadayi River Water Disputes Tribunal, stating that it is willing to provide 7.56 TMC water for drinking purposes in north Karnataka,” Siddaramaiah responded. “What is the point of writing to the BJP state chief?”
Parrikar’s offer did not go down well with Goa Forward, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally in the state, and the Opposition. “We are sounding a note of caution to our own government,” Goa Forward President Vijay Sardesai said in a tweet. “If you are going to sell out, then we would not want this ministry.”
The Leader of Opposition in the Goa Assembly, Chandrakant Kavlekar, told Deccan Chronicle that Parrikar’s move was a “political stunt”.