Panaji, July 29: Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar today termed Karnataka as a "big brother" of Goa and said the neighbouring state should not be seen as an "enemy" on the Mahadayi river water diversion issue.
"Karnataka is (like) our big brother. We cannot look at them as our enemy on the water diversion issue. Undoubtedly, some political forces are indulged in creating tension and provoking people. But for that we cannot react. We are civilised people and have to act accordingly," Parsekar said in the House.
The chief minister was responding to issues raised by Independent MLA Rohan Khaunte over the safety of Goans in Karnataka, against the backdrop of recent sporadic violence that erupted over the interim verdict by Water Tribunal on Mahadayi river water diversion.
Parsekar said the state's Chief Secretary and Director General of Police are in touch with their counterparts in Karnataka to take stock of the situation and ensure that Goans living there are safe.
"No need to be panic. We are taking all precautions. I am confident that Karnataka government will ensure safety of Goans in their districts," he said. "Let us not get into inter-state fight. It is a judicial battle for one specific issue. If someone wants can challenge it," he said.
Parsekar said as a precautionary measure, government has already suspended bus services from Goa to Karnataka for two to three days. But there is no suspension of the same from Karnataka to Goa.