Goa BJP sounds warning if state vehicles damaged in Karnataka

Panaji, Sep 26 (IANS) Threats made during a statewide bandh in Karnataka to damage Goa-registered vehicles crossing the inter-state border on Saturday drew a “tit for tat” response from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here.

Goa BJP chief Vinay Tendulkar told reporters at the party headquarters here on Saturday that if Goan vehicles were damaged in Karnataka, it may invite a similar response on this side of the border.

“We will not hesitate to take law into our hands, as far as Karnataka vehicles which come to Goa are concerned… It should not happen, but if someone causes physical harm, we will give them a tit for tat,” Tendulkar said.

Several farmers organisations in Karnataka, who have joined hands under the banner of Kannada Okkoota, a pro-Kannada organisation, held a day-long bandh in the southern state on Saturday over delay in implementation of the Kalsa-Bhanduri drinking water project for northern Karnataka.

Goa and Karnataka are currently embroiled in a dispute before a central tribunal over the controversial Kalsa-Bhanduri dam project across the waters of the Mhadei river.

Mhadei also known as the Mandovi river, is known as the lifeline of the northern parts of the State. It originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji in Goa. While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km in length in Goa.

Karnataka plans to construct seven dams on the river, aimed at diverting the waters into its water-starved Malaprabha basin in North Karnataka.

The Goa government and civil society groups in Goa have said diverting the waters of the river would sound the death knell for the northern areas of the state, which are dependent on the river for fishing, irrigation and potable water supply.

Tendulkar said Goa was duty-bound to accept the verdict of the central tribunal and was not inclined to accept the Karnataka government’s offer to resolve the matter amicably.

“The chief minister has said that the dispute should be resolved by the Tribunal… We will accept verdict of the tribunal,” he said.

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