Oppn trains gun on Goa CM over Mahadayi water sharing issue

Panaji, Feb 28 (PTI) Opposition parties in Goa on Friday slammed Chief Minister Pramod Sawant over his 'failure' in protecting the interests of the state on the Mahadayi river water sharing issue.

Their criticism came in the wake of Union Ministry of Jal Shakti's notification issued on Thursday on the award of Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal, pronounced in August 2018, which allowed Karnataka to divert water from Mahadayi river by constructing dams at Kalasa and Banduri.

The notification came a week after the Supreme Court passed an interim order allowing the application filed by Karnataka in which it sought that the tribunal's award be notified.

While the youth wing of the Goa Forward Party (GFP) on Friday burnt Sawant's effigy as a mark of protest, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Digambar Kamat accused the BJP-led state government of betraying the people of Goa.

Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte demanded Sawant's resignation on moral grounds.

'The people of Goa have been betrayed and let down by the BJP government on Mahadayi issue...It is more than evident that both central and state governments have shown partisan approach towards Karnataka,' Kamat said.

He alleged that the government has succumbed to the pressure tactics.

'The needle of suspicion of compromising the interests of Goa clearly points towards the state government...going by its actions over the last few months,' he added.

The state government neither held a day-long assembly session, nor did it accept our suggestion to take an all-party delegation to prime minister to discuss the issue, Kamat said.

'The government is answerable to the people of Goa.

They (people) need an explanation over the Goa government's lethargic approach on the issue in the last six months, when alarm bells had already started ringing,' he added.

Goa Youth Forward burnt an effigy of Sawant in Panaji in the evening and demanded his resignation for failing to protect the river and the interests of the people in the state.

GFP chief Vijai Sardesai said, 'Sawant is trying to fool the people of Goa all the time.' He said the Jal Shakti Ministry has given a 'birthday gift' to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in the form of Mahadayi river water.

'The order has already been notified...Yesterday it was the 78th birthday of Yediyurappa. The river has been gifted to Karnataka at the cost of Goa. It is a gift of Jal Shakti Ministry,' he said.

Khaunte said, 'Karnataka has played a trick by showing it as a drinking water project. But how did they bypass the environment clearance? There is a huge disconnect between the present CM (Sawant) with the leadership at the Centre,' he said. PTI RPS NP NP