BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will lead an all-party delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, seeking his intervention in facilitating an out-of-court settlement for the inter-state Mahadayi river dispute.
A consensus was reached in this regard at an all-party meeting chaired by Siddaramaiah on Sunday. The issue is now before Justice Panchal Tribunal.
However, the meeting, attended by floor leaders, MLAs, Union ministers and MPs from Karnataka, witnessed heated exchanges between the BJP and Congress leaders who blamed each other for the non-completion of the 7.56 tmcft-Kalasa-Banduri drinking water project.
Expressing confidence of convincing Modi on the issue, Siddaramaiah stressed for the need to present a united face and appealed to all for not politicising the issue.
He said that the Prime Minister would also be apprised on the severe drought conditions prevailing in the state, besides seeking a financial package to combat drought and also on the problems being faced by the Sugarcane and pomegranate growers in the state.
Later speaking to Express, Siddaramaiah said, “The severe drinking water problem being faced by the people of the region had forced us to seek the intervention of the Prime Minister.
Earlier, raising the issue, Congress floor leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge is believed to have told the BJP leaders to convince the PM to convene a meeting of the chief ministers of the three riparian states-- Karnataka,
Maharashtra and Goa --to resolve the issue. He asked them to take the lead, taking note of the grave drinking water problem being faced by the people of Belagavi, Gadag and Dharwad districts.
He also recalled the initiative taken by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi with Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to evolve a consensus to provide 5tmcft of Krishna Water to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai, out of the total allocation made to the riparian states by the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal.
This prompted the BJP leaders, including Jagadish Shettar and B S Yeddyurappa, to suggest to Siddaramaiah to speak to his Maharashtra and Goa counterparts and convince them to settle the dispute through negotiations.
The BJP group apparently felt that they were being assigned greater responsibility to address the river dispute