Karnataka assembly polls: BJP plays Mahadayi card in Hubli, Yogi Adityanath pushes Hindutva
The Mahadayi water sharing row and Yogi Adityanath became the highlights of BJP's Parivartana Yatra in Hubballi on Wednesday. With the Lingayat religious tag issue eating into the BJP's vote bank, B S Yeddyurappa turned the Kalasa-Banduri water sharing row into a poll agenda. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath propelled the Hindutva card with scathing attacks on the Congress.
"Following my request, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has finally agreed to consider our demand for drinking water from Mahadayi river to people of North Karnataka," announced B S Yeddyurappa, reading a letter from Parrikar at the rally. The carefully worded diplomatic letter from Parrikar is being looked at by the Congress as an election gimmick.
#Mahadayi:— Dinesh Gundu Rao (@dineshgrao) December 21, 2017
When @CMofKarnataka met @PMOIndia-negative response. Wrote to Goa CM-negative response.
Fixed meeting-Goa CM didn’t turn up.
Suddenly on eve of election @manoharparrikar writes to @BSYBJP & not to our CM.
Another Jumla by @AmitShah & BJP??
The crowd gathered at Hubballi's Nehru Maidan on Wednesday was easily one of the largest ever that BJP's Parivarthana Yatra has seen ever since its launch. While the presence of Yogi Adityanath was one of the factors, the anticipation of BJP's announcement in the Mahadayi issue was another. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the BJP's saffron icon, did his job of propelling his party's Hindutva card well.
"I am confident that you will ensure that the BJP will form a government in Karnataka. Tell the Congress that in India, Hanuman will be revered and not Tipu Sultan," is how Yogi Adityanath chose to conclude his speech as the crowds roared. He launched scathing attacks on the Siddaramaiah government and urged the people to "teach the anti-Hindu Congress a lesson."
With an intention to turn the Mahadayi water sharing row into an election agenda, state BJP leaders along with Manohar Parrikar, union Ministers Prakash Javdekar etc met Amit Shah on Wednesday. Even as its ally in Goa, the Goa Forward Party, warned the Parrikar government of withdrawing support if the Mahadayi dispute was raked up, Parrikar wrote a letter assuring to hold talks on "humanitarian grounds".
"Government of Goa is willing to consider the request to work out an amicable settlement strictly restricted to drinking water only to the drought-prone areas," the letter read. Karnataka has been in a long pitched battle with Goa over the waters of Mahadayi river for the Kalasa-Banduri project. The project is aimed at improving drinking water supply to people of Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag. Karnataka requires 7.56 TMC of water from two tributaries of the Mahadayi river- a demand that Goa has vehemently opposed in the Tribunal.