Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement that the BJP government has resolved the long-pending water-sharing dispute by permitting the diversion of Mhadei river water by Karnataka after taking Goa government into confidence has stirred a Hornet’s nest in the state.
The Opposition on Saturday ganged up and demanded Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's resignation.
Opposition leader Yuri Alemao claimed that the Home Minister's statement in Belagavi has made it clear that CM Pramod Sawant had avoided including Opposition MLAs in the delegation which met Amit Shah to ‘give consent to the conspiracy to betray Goans and kill Mother Mhadei’.
Goa Forward leader Vijai Sardesai also slammed the government and challenged CM Sawant to dispute his leadership or resign immediately. He alleged that in exchange for his chair, Sawant has deprived generations of Goans of drinking water, diverting Mhadei for water-guzzling crops in Karnataka.
GPCC President Amit Patkar said, “Blatant Lies of CM Sawant stand exposed. It’s not the thirst of farmers, but hunger for power of BJP which has betrayed Goa and Goans”.
Save Mhadei, Save Goa Front’s Hrudaynath Shirodkar asked CM Sawant to file a contempt petition against Amit Shah for making a statement claiming that Mhadei diversion has been permitted when the matter was pending before the Supreme Court.
“If the CM Sawant can’t do this, he should resign immediately,” he asserted. The CM and all 40 MLAs should resign and create a constitutional crisis to force the Centre to take cognizance of the state’s battle to save Mhadei, he urged.
Meanwhile, the CM Pramod Sawant claimed that Karnataka’s DPR has not yet received the necessary environmental clearances. Stating that the Goa government has asked the Supreme Court for early hearing in Mhadei matter, Sawant reiterated that the government will continue to fight for every drop of Mhadei water that rightfully belongs to Goa.
ENVIRONMENTALIST KERKAR SUGGESTS
Goa's noted environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar urged Goa government to notify the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve to make it difficult for various central agencies to give permissions for any work within the sanctuary.
The settlement, agriculture, horticulture and other areas in use by people should however be excluded from the ambit of the tiger reserve, he advised.
MHADEI MATTER ON FEB 13
The Supreme Court has listed Goa government's Interlocutory Application on river Mhadei on February 13.