Bengaluru: A floor leaders' meeting of the state legislature convened by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here on Thursday unanimously decided to support the government's stand against giving its consent for extension of the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal (MWDT)'s term, which ends on August 20 this year.
With Goa having suggested extension of its term, the tribunal has sought the opinion of Karnataka in the matter and the Chief Minister has categorically told the state's legal team to oppose it.
When Mr. Siddaramaiah informed the floor leaders of his decision, they told him he had taken the right decision and the government should stand firm on its stand before the tribunal at the next hearing. The opposition party leaders also suggested that it should complete its arguments on the Mahadayi river water dispute as soon as possible to help the tribunal pronounce its final verdict before the expiry of its term.
Following the meeting Mr. Siddaramaiah recalled that the tribunal had already received two extensions since it was constituted on November 16, 2010 and was expected to give its verdict three years ago. "We now expect it to give its final verdict before August,'' he added.
He revealed that with senior counsel, Fali Nariman, being ill, the state government had appointed former Attorney General, Ashok Desai and senior counsel Shyam Divan to appear before the tribunal.
"Additional Solicitor General Nadakarni has argued before the tribunal on Goa's behalf. I appeal to the Centre not to support Goa's contempt plea. We have filed our objection to it, " Mr. Siddaramaiah added.
Opposition leader in the Assembly, Jagadish Shettar, said four months were quite enough for the tribunal to dictate its final verdict. Going by him there was no discussion at the meeting on taking an all -party delegation to the Prime Minister, to seek his intervention in the Mahadayi dispute.