Union Jalashakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat interact with media at Shram Shakti Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday, 11 Nov 2021. (Photo: D. Kamraj)
Hyderabad: Union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Thursday took strong exception to Telangana state Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s remarks accusing the Centre of delaying the resolution on water disputes between Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh for over seven years.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Shekhawat held Rao responsible for the delay stating that due to a case filed by the Telangana state government in the Supreme Court on Krishna waters dispute in 2015, the Centre could not initiate any steps as the matter was sub judice.
"He (Rao) took my name in his press conference. I have the responsibility to clarify his remarks. I wish to understand how the Centre or myself could be held responsible for the seven-year delay. The delay was because he (Rao) chose to file a case in the Supreme Court in 2015 seeking to constitute a fresh tribunal for sharing of Krishna waters among TS, AP and other states. The case was pending for all these years. When the matter is sub judice, how can the Centre initiate steps to resolve disputes among states?" Shekhawat questioned.
The Union minister stated that in fact it was he who had made a beginning to break the deadlock by convening an Apex Council meeting with Chief Ministers of Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh in October 2020.
"In the meeting, I told the Telangana state Chief Minister to withdraw the case from the Supreme Court to break the deadlock. He agreed and even promised to withdraw the case within two days. But he took eight months time to withdraw the case. The Supreme Court allowed the Telangana state government to withdraw the case only last month. Only after this, the Centre’s role in this issue began last month. How could he hold the Centre and myself responsible for seven-year delay?" he asked.
Addressing a press conference at Pragathi Bhavan on Monday, Rao had expressed anger at the Centre and named Shekhawat accusing them of taking seven years’ time just to refer Krishna water sharing issue to a new tribunal. Rao had said that he withdrew the case from the Supreme Court as promised but the Centre failed to resolve waters disputes between Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh even after seven years.
Shekhawat also expressed anger over Rao describing the Centre’s notification on the jurisdiction of the Krishna River Management Board and the Godavari River Management Board as a "big drama".
"KRMB and GRMB were constituted as per the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, which was passed by both the Houses of Parliament. It’s the law of the land. How can he say it’s a drama?" Shekhawat remarked.