PANAJI: The Congress in Goa has alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks made in Karnataka on the contentious Mahadayi river issue were to confuse voters on the eve of elections in the neighbouring state.
During a poll rally in Karnataka last week, Modi claimed that the then Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, had said during Goa Assembly polls in 2007 that her party was "committed" to not allowing the southern state its share of water.
The PM said since the Congress was out of power in Goa, it was instigating the people of Karnataka on the Mahadayi issue and that instead of finding a solution to the dispute, it was referred to a tribunal.
Reacting to it, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee president Girish Chodankar said such statements were being made just before the Karnataka polls to "confuse the voters".
"I urge them (BJP leaders) to make a categorical statement within 72 hours, and not to wait till the Karnataka elections are over, if they are serious about this issue," Chodankar told reporters here last night.
The prime minister has denied justice to both the states, he alleged.
The Union government had earlier formed the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal where both the states are fighting over the issue.
Chodankar said one cannot belittle the tribunal's importance.
"The tribunal has been formed as per the Constitution. Both the states have the right to represent before it. These statements are just to win the Karnataka election," he said.
Karnataka and Goa, the riparian states of the Mahadayi river (known as Mandovi in Goa), have been locked in a bitter battle on sharing of the river water, which originates in Belagavi in the southern state.
The matter is pending before the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal.
The Goa government had in January this year told the tribunal that the Mahadayi river water demand by neighbouring Karnataka is actually for irrigating its sugarcane crop areas.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier said his state could share the river water with Karnataka for drinking purposes and expressed his willingness for bilateral talks.