Water would play a crucial role in the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018. The Mahadayi row has taken centre stage already and this issue would be crucial to any party's prospects in North Karnataka where are there over 50 assembly seats.
B S Yeddyurappa, the chief ministerial candidate of the BJP read out a letter recently written by Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. It read that Goa was ready to release water for drinking water purposes. However, there were questions asked as to why Parrikar had written to Yeddyurappa and not Siddaramaiah who is the Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Parrikar had this to say. Following a Cabinet meeting, he told reporters that he had chosen to write to Yeddyurappa rather than his counterpart because he does not trust those ruling the Karnataka.
I wrote to Yeddyurappa and expressed my willingness to talk to Karnataka on water sharing because I trust him. When asked if there was a political misuse of the letter, Parrikar shot back, " you ask him if you think so.
Parrikar, however, reiterated that the letter was a perfectly legal one and the interests of Goa had not been compromised.
Parrikar said that the letter was legally perfect and does not compromise on the Mahadayi issue. My words were in lines with the state's stand at the tribunal, he further asserted.
Parrikar's letter to Yeddyurappa had triggered a row, with Congress and AAP calling it a "political move". Vijay Sardesai, state Agriculture Minister and BJP ally Goa Forward Party leader, has said his party will surrender the water resources portfolio if the government gives water for agriculture needs to the neighbouring state.
In his letter to BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa, Parrikar had written that Goa will not oppose "in principle" sharing water with Karnataka for drinking purpose.