Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai on Monday suggested Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to resign, or give a call of Goa bandh, or create a Constitutional crisis to pressurise the Central government to withdraw approval given to the Detailed Project Report of Karnataka.
Sardesai was speaking at a mega public meeting over ‘Save Mhadei’ at Sanquelim in North Goa. Noted figures from all walks of life spoke on the occasion.
“I give a deadline of 15 days to the government to get the DPR withdrawn, else they should give a call of Goa bandh. Let all political parties get united and make Goa Bandh successful. Even then if the Central government doesn’t listen to the demand then the Chief Minister should resign and along with him rest all 39 MLAs should resign to create a Constitutional crisis,” Sardesai said.
Criticising the BJP government, Sardesai said that it has such an attitude that it is not giving opportunity to people to unite. “Government employees were threatened to transfer if they attended a meeting,” he said.
Making a sarcastic remark, he said: “You will not find the chief minister who sells the river of the state, you will find it only in Goa.”
He said that if a double engine is so powerful, “then why Sawant needed opposition to convince Amit Shah”.
“Even today, the Governor didn’t utter a single word on Mhadei during his address in the assembly session. This government has betrayed the people of Goa,” Sardesai said.
He urged people to start a movement to protect the Mhadei river. “When the political class fails then people should rise and start an organic movement. Everyone should contribute for it,” he said
Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar said that he along with others had started a movement to save Mhadei in 1998, and he had many times brought to the notice of all the previous governments about developments of Karnataka to divert water.
“DPR has got approval in a hasty manner. Karnataka has already taken the water from Mhadei. We need to be united to protect our Mhadei,” he said.
Thousands of Mhadei issue supporters were present during this meeting. Many of the speakers attacked the state and central government for giving a nod to Karnataka’s DPR.
Ever since Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that the Centre has cleared the much disputed Kalasa-Bhanduri dam project in his state, people have started holding public meetings against the Central government’s decision.
Goa and Karnataka are currently battling out a dispute over the Kalasa-Bhanduri dam project across the water of Mhadei river at a central tribunal.
Mhadei originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea in Panaji.
While the river traverses 28.8 km in Karnataka, it is 81.2 km in length in Goa. Karnataka plans to construct dams on the river, aimed at diverting the water into its water-starved Malaprabha basin in North Karnataka.