Hubballi: Mahadayi farmers , who are preparing to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on either Thursday or Friday, are hoping he will intervene in the water dispute with Goa and resolve it to their satisfaction.

The delegation of farmers will be led by former Chief Justice of India, M N Venkatachalaiah. As many as 23 farmer leaders from nine taluks of four districts are already in New Delhi to exert pressure on the Union government to resolve the dispute.

The farmers are hoping to convince Mr Modi about the drinking water problem in their districts and the need to divert Mahadayi water to the Malaprabha reservoir.
It may be recalled that the Prime Minister had promised to find a solution to the dispute within six months if the BJP came to power in Karnataka.

“Political parties have failed to resolve the issue although the Mahadayi movement is three years old. So we are in New Delhi to appeal to the Prime Minister to take concrete steps instead of giving mere assurances on the dispute . We cannot wait until the Mahadayi tribunal pronounces its final verdict on the issue,” said Mr M R Ranganath, president of Bengaluru NGO, Sahyadri Jala-Jana Society, which is backing the farmers.

Meanwhile, farmer leaders, who have stayed back, called the decision of the Prime Minister’s office to invite farmers to discuss the issue a political gimmick ahead of the Lok Sabha election of 2019.

Both Congress and BJP leaders have merely targeted each other on the Mahadayi dispute without making an honest effort to find a solution to it. Now, taking a farmers’ delegation to meet the Prime Minister is merely a political gimmick ahead of the Lok Sabha polls as the Mahadayi tribunal is expected to give its final verdict in August,” said farmer leader, Vikas Soppin.

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