BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today dubbed the BJP's efforts to resolve the Mahadayi river water sharing issue with neighbouring Goa as a "political gimmick" ahead of assembly elections in the state early next year.
Questioning as to how BJP state President B S Yeddyurappa can make an announcement on the matter, he said either Goa Chief Minister has to communicate to the state government any decision taken by them or they have to submit an affidavit informing the tribunal, which is seized of the issue.
"Who is Yeddyurappa to make the announcement ... this is just a political gimmick" keeping in mind the assembly elections, due early next year, the CM said.
Stating that he welcomes any attempt to resolve the issue, Siddaramaiah said he was still ready to participate if Prime Minister calls a meeting of Chief Ministers of all three riparian states -- Maharashtra being the other -- to resolve the issue.
"Let the Prime Minister immediately call the meeting of Chief Ministers. I'm also ready for the meeting with Goa Chief Minister," he said at Vijayapura in north Karnataka.
A BJP team led by Yeddyurappa, which met Goa Chief Minister Parrikar in the presence of party President Amit Shah in Delhi yesterday, has termed the discussions as "satisfactory".
Yeddyurappa has also said he would make an announcement on the outcome of the deliberations at a party convention in Hubballi today, after receiving final communication from Goa.
Siddaramaiah said Yeddyurappa's claims about the outcome of delebrations in resolving the issue cannot be believed.
Karnataka is seeking release of 7.56 tmcft water by Goa from the river for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project, being undertaken to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag in the state's northern region.
The Karnataka government had earlier petitioned the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal which in its July 27 last year interim order rejected the state's plea citing various grounds, including ecological damage the project may cause.
Challenging this, the state government has filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court.
Siddaramaiah said BJP leaders were silent when he had led a delegation to the Prime Minister to resolve the issue.
"These leaders were silent all these days. As the assembly elections are nearing they are trying to play political gimmick," he charged.
Karnataka has for long been advocating out of court settlement of the issue and had sought Modi's intervention.
In September last year, the tribunal had asked Chief Ministers of all the three riparian states to resolve the dispute amicably by holding discussions, following which Siddaramaiah also wrote to his Goa and Maharashtra counterparts for an amicable solution.
Goa, which had earlier expressed its opposition to the out of court settlement of the dispute, did not respond positively for the proposed meeting of Chief Ministers.
The Kalasa-Banduri Nala (diversion) project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi river, to divert 7.56 tmcft of water to the Malaprabha river which supplies the drinking water needs of the region.