Mahadayi river dispute: BJP legislator attacks Yediyurappa, demands separate North K'taka state

Slamming Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa for his remarks in favour of Maharashtra on the Mahadayi river water dispute, BJP legislator Umesh Katti on Friday said that the latter should first solve the water crisis in north Karnataka or else a new state should be bifurcated from the region.

"Without implementing the Mahadayi project, giving such statements is strongly condemnable. If he is not able to release water to north Karnataka and solve the crisis there or else Yeddyurappa should bifurcate the state and give us a new state. I will fight for this till my last breath. Solapur and Sangli (in Maharashtra) should be included in the new state," he said at a press conference here.

Katti's comments came after Yeddyurappa had recently said at an election rally in Maharashtra that the Karnataka government will release Mahadayi water to the state.

"The bilateral talks between the Maharashtra and Karnataka can solve the issue while the situation remains like this. But Maharashtra did not release water when we requested them even after seven years. The Mahadayi project has also not yet started," Katti said.

He claimed that Yeddyurappa's comment was just to "attract the voters" in Maharashtra.

"42 taluks in North Karnataka depend on Mahadayi water. 40 TMC of water which was allotted to the state government is needed to be utilised at this point of time. So, the statement made by BS Yeddyurappa is not appropriate," the BJP leader said.

Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra have conflicting interests on the issue of sharing Mahadayi river water. While the river originates in Karnataka, a major part of it flows in Goa and briefly in Maharashtra.