Congress disrupting Mekedatu project with its agitation: K'taka Minister R Ashoka
Accusing the Congress of disrupting the proposed Mekedatu balancing reservoir across the Cauvery river with its recent 'walk for water' campaign, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Monday said the Congress drive only helped spread the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
''For the past 15-20 years we had been convincing people that the Mekedatu project in Ramanagara district is restricted to drinking and power generation purposes but the Congress publicised it in a way that it will give water from the project to the farmers as well. Now the statements of Congress leaders here will be used by the Tamil Nadu government to stall the project,'' he added.
The minister said no water dispute has ever been resolved by rally or a 'padayatra.' ''All such disputes were sorted out by the court orders. That much common sense Congress leader should have had,'' Ashoka added.
Accusing the Congress of spreading the coronavirus pandemic in the state, the minister challenged the leader of opposition, Siddaramaiah to get all those who had taken part in the 'padayatra' for five days from January 9, when the march began, tested.
''The information we have is that the Congress leaders have got COVID. According to rules, they must be quarantined but none are under isolation but yet they blame us for the spread of disease,'' the Minister alleged.
''They didn't do anything when they were power in the state as well as at the Centre for more than 50 years. Now they are staging a drama. People clearly know that their agitation is bogus,'' Ashoka said.
The 10-day 'padayatra' with the theme 'Namma Neeru Namma Hakku' (Our water, Our right) began at the Sangama, the confluence of Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers at Kanakapura in Ramanagara district on January 9.
The agitation was believed to be an attempt to mobilise its ranks and cadres and consolidate its voter base in the old Mysuru region, which is a Vokkaliga bastion, where JD(S) is its traditional rival and the ruling BJP is attempting to make inroads ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls.
The Karnataka government had submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Central Water Commission (CWC) in 2019, which was then referred to the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) where it is stuck currently as Tamil Nadu, which is the lower riparian state has opposed the project tooth and nail.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)