Congress demands Parrikar quit for 'mishandling' Mhadei issue
Panaji: The Congress on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for "mismanaging" the Mhadei river water dispute with Karnataka which had put Goa's very future in peril.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress spokesperson Aleixo Reginaldo also said that there seemed to be a revolt brewing against the leadership of Parrikar, in light of public statements contrary to Parrikar's stated position on the issue by Speaker Pramod Sawant and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo, both of the BJP.
"Michael Lobo and Pramod Sawant have exposed Parrikar. What is the fate of CM, he should resign. We will fight this government tooth and nail on the Mhadei issue. The CM has not done anything.
"Who gave CM the right to write a letter to (BJP Karnataka leader B.S.) Yeddyurappa," Reginald said, a day after Sawant and Lobo accused Karnataka of already diverting Mhadei river water, even as the dispute is being heard by a tribunal appointed by the central government.
Accusing Parrikar of putting the fate of the state's natural resources in peril to please his party top brass, he said that Goa could no longer afford him as a leader.
Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra are currently involved in a dispute in the tribunal over controversial Kalsa-Bhandura dam project across Mhadei river, through which Karnataka aims to divert water from the Mhadei basin to a nearby basin on the Malaprabha river.
Mhadei, also known as the Mandovi river, is considered as a lifeline in Karnataka where it originates before flowing into the Arabian Sea in Panaji, while also briefly flowing through Maharashtra.
A letter written recently by Parrikar to Yeddyurappa, expressing his willingness to discuss river water sharing for drinking purposes on humanitarian grounds had triggered popular protests in both Goa and Karnataka. He also faced flak from the Opposition, civil society as well as from within his own party and ruling coalition members, after several inspection teams of the state Water Resources department and an all-party team led by Sawant said Karnataka has already started diverting river waters.
Lobo also said on Tuesday that he would move a resolution in the upcoming budget session, condemning Karnataka for constructing under-water tunnels to divert the Mhadei water.