Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Tuesday he would travel to Delhi on Wednesday or Thursday for a two-day visit. Bommai will meet Union minister for jal shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat over the Mekedatu project.
Bommai will meet National president JP Nadda, the general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Arun Singh, and few other national leaders.
Bommai will hold a meeting with legal experts on the inter-state water issue because of the disagreement between the two states.
There will also be several efforts by the CM to put an end to the increasing disappointment among a section of his Cabinet colleagues with their portfolios.
Talks over Mekedatu Project
A report had been submitted to the Centre in 2019 by the Karnataka Government about their plan to build a reservoir at Mekedatu in Ramanagara district.
Mekedatu is 90 km from Bengaluru and 4 km from the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, and the project a to ensure adequate drinking water supply to Bengaluru and also promised to benefit Tamil Nadu.
However, M K Stalin, Tamil Nadu CM, refuting Karnataka’s claim that the Mekedatu dam would also benefit Tamil Nadu, said the Mekedatu zone represented the last accessible point from where the Cauvery water flowed without any restrictions into the downstream of Tamil Nadu state from the upstream of Karnataka.
Therefore, the construction of a dam there would leave Tamil Nadu obligated to Karnataka to release its fair share of water.
The two states’ disagreement over the issue has continued over the years, and CM Bommai plans to discuss the issue during his visit to Delhi.
He will hold discussions with Karnataka’s legal panel headed by advocate general Prabhuling Navadgi and other senior lawyers to map out strategies to resolve disputes over the project.
“I am trying to get information to proceed in view of the existing water disputes,” said Bommai.
However, the Tamil Nadu government has said that they will file an appeal in the Supreme Court, challenging the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in the Mekedatu Dam.
On the other hand, Karnataka has proposed a balancing reservoir at Mekedatu in Ramanagara District, which has also been opposed by the Tamil Nadu government, claiming that it would affect water supply and create problems for Farmers.
Bommai says that Karnataka has always made efforts to protect the state’s rights in water and land issues.
“But history has seen parties fighting and working together in water and land-related issues,” he added.
Talks on Bommai’s cabinet portfolios
Four ministers have been upset with their portfolios and have expressed their displeasure very openly.
Vijayanagar MLA Anand Singh took charge as tourism and environment minister only on Tuesday and only agreed to assume office only after Bommai promised to address his woes.
“I took charge today only after their assurance. The CM has promised to address all grievances during his trip to Delhi,” said Singh.
The CM’s Delhi visit will be significant because many of these MLA’s can go as far as resigning Assembly membership if the party does not meet their demand.
Bommai is also expected to meet home minister Amit Shah and party general secretary of the organization, BL Santhosh.
Disappointment over portfolios was also expressed openly by Transport minister B Sriramulu and municipal administration minister MTB Nagaraj.
Most of these MLAs are among the 17 MLAs from Congress and JDS who helped BS Yediyurappa form the government in July 2019, bringing down the non-BJP coalition.
After the portfolios were assigned, Nagraj tweeted, “Previous CM BS Yediyurappa Ji and present CM Basavaraj Bommai Ji have not kept their promises. I am not happy with the allotted portfolio”.
Muzrai, Wakf, and Haj minister Shashikala Jolle have also urged the party leaders to return the women & child development department, the portfolio she held under Yediyurappa.