Parrikar’s new U turn, assures out-of-court settlement on Mhadei

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 07 January 2016 23:53 IST

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who continues ruling Goa as the undisputed leader, has gone against the policy of his own state government and assured out-of-court settlement on Mhadei dispute through bilateral talks.

He was in Dharwad on Wednesday to inaugurate an international conference on ‘Enabling Make in India’.

As reported by a national daily The New Indian Express (click), Parrikar, as the union minister, assured Kalsa-Bandura Horata Samanvaya Samiti to solve the issue outside the tribunal.

He reportedly told this to the Samiti members when the delegation gave him the memorandum in this regard.

Later, while speaking at a public function, he said:

“We don’t consider Karnataka as Pakistan,” and assured to facilitate a dialogue among both the states – Karnataka and Goa.

The statement was reported by a reputed national daily from the South – The Hindu (click) while most of the journalists have also reported his statement in this regard.

A similar statement was made by Goa Chief Minister (click) on 29 September last year, in the presence of union home minister Rajnath Singh, while rejecting the proposal of having any dialogue with Karnataka over Mhadei issue.

“Our relation is not like India-Pakistan. We are the neighbouring states within the same country. But Goa would prefer to wait for the verdict rather than considering out-of-court settlement or any talks to settle the issue”, Parsekar had said.

Karnataka has been desperately trying to strike an out-of-court settlement on the Mhadei issue while the matter is pending before the Mhadei water dispute tribunal.

By going against even court directives, Karnataka has built a canal at Kankumbi to divert Mhadei water to Malprabha, which would affect Goa drastically.

The southern state has united all the political parties, intellectuals, religious leaders and even the film stars by holding several public actions, from demonstrations to rasta rokos to even burning Goa’s state-run KTC buses.

While several delegations have also come down here, Goa CM Parsekar has not responded till date to the request of bilateral talks made by his Karnataka counterpart Siddaramaiah.

However, news reports state that Parrikar came back to the podium after completing his speech at the insistence of Karnataka BJP president Prahlad Joshi and made the following statement:

“It is a drinking water issue and there should not be politics over it. I am ready to facilitate a dialogue among the riparian States. But the Government of Karnataka should initiate the dialogue process.”

While stating that Goa doesn’t consider Karnataka as Pakistan, the defence minister also said he did not want to speak much over the issue since the issue is before the tribunal.

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