PANAJI: The Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao on Monday said that the silence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the Mhadei issue during a public meeting confirms that double engine governments have allowed the diversion of Mhadei to Karnataka to satisfy the thirst of farmers of many districts
Addressing a press conference, Yuri Alemao hit out at BJP governments for compromising Goa’s interest to garner votes in Karnataka.
GPCC President Amit Patkar, media Cell Chairman Amarnath Panjikar, Mahila President Beena Naik and others were present on occasion.
Yuri Alemao said that Goa has been betrayed by the ‘Bhrasht Jumla Party’ over the Mhadei issue, and they have already diverted the water in connivance with its leaders.
“Amit Shah, while campaigning in Karnataka, was specific to tell that he has already given water to Karnataka. Now his silence in Goa has confirmed that he stands with his statements made in Karnataka,” Alemao said.
In January, during a rally in Karnataka’s Belagavi, Amit Shah had said: “Sonia Gandhi, during a speech in Goa in the year 2007, said that the Congress government will not allow Mhadei water diversion to Karnataka. In 2022, Congress, in their manifesto stated that Karnataka would not get a single drop of water from Mhadei. Today, I am here to tell you that the BJP at the Centre has resolved the long dispute between Goa and Karnataka over Mhadei and allowed the diversion of Mhadei to Karnataka to satisfy the thirst of farmers of many districts.”
“Though Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and other BJP MLAs were present for the meeting, they had no courage to question Amit Shah over Mhadei,” he said.
Alemao said that BJP has used Mhadei as a political weapon and has hoodwinked the people.
“Even in the case of mining resumption, the Chief Minister says that it will start in 4 months, and Amit Shah says it will resume in the next year. Whom should we believe,” he questioned, adding both engines have compromised Goa’s interest.
Panjikar said that Amit Shah didn’t dare to clarify the Mhadei issue. “BJP state president Sadanand Tanavade should have shown his daring by questioning Amit Shah. Why didn’t he do it,” Panjikar questioned.
Panjikar said that the BJP fearing the protest by Congress workers, made Goa police proactive and asked them to follow us and detain us. “Police should show this activeness to decrease crimes. BJPs MLAs are involved in land grabbing, but police are not taking action,” he said.
Rejecting the allegation by Shah that Congress never gave importance to small states, Panjikar said that Shah himself had stated that Sonia Gandhi was not diverting water to Karnataka (to protect Goa’s interest).
“We always have given importance to small states, and Sonia Gandhi has proved it,” Panajikar said.
Amit Patkar said that the people of Goa were eager to hear clarification from Amit Shah. But he, along with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, failed to do so. “They do not even mention the issue of Mhadei during the entire public meeting,” Patkar said.
He said that if BJP gives importance to small states, then why it failed to release Rs 150 crore under 60 years of liberation scheme.
“I think the BJP stands exposed during public meetings. Both engines have failed. I condemned the act of detaining our workers. For a healthy democracy, the opposition should be there, but BJP is trying to destroy it,” he said.
Beena Naik said that BJP is depriving people of freedom of speech. “Our detention was part of BJPs agenda of ‘Suppression of voice’. This is a dictatorship,” she said.