HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is reportedly not keen on meeting his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy for talks on resolving the Krishna water sharing dispute right now. The two CMs had last met in Pragathi Bhavan in January 2020.
Meanwhile AP government adviser Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy and AP minister Perni Nani said on Friday that Jagan Mohan Reddy was ready for talks with Chandrashekar Rao to resolve the Krishna dispute in an amicable manner.
The minister said that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy is ready to clear doubts on the use of river waters and is ready for talks with Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on all issues. He alleged that some Telangana state leaders were trying to create disputes between the two Telugu States for the sake of politics.
But, sources in the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) said that Chandrashekar Rao wants to hold talks only if AP government withdraws controversial projects over the Krishna and RDS and is willing to share surplus Godavari water with AP by constructing either joint projects or individual projects on Godavari for benefit of both the Telugu states.
Meanwhile, Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is learnt to have called Chandrashekar Rao over the phone on Friday and discussed the Rayalseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) works. He reportedly assured the CM that his ministry would soon send a team from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to the RLIS site to assess the actual position of works.
Chandrashekar Rao is said to be of the view that he had extended a friendly hand to Jagan Mohan Reddy soon after he became the Chief Minister of AP by offering to share surplus water in the Godavari with AP since the availability of water in Krishna is comparatively low. It is felt that Jagan Mohan Reddy ignored him and unilaterally decided to take up the RLIS on the Krishna like his father Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy did by constructing the Pothireddypadu project, hurting the interests of south Telangana districts including Hyderabad.
Added to this, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government constructing a parallel canal along the Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) to divert even Tungabhadra water from erstwhile Mahbubnagar district angered Chandrashekar Rao even more. For these reasons, he is against holding talks with Jagan Mohan Reddy at this stage unless the AP CM withdraws those projects.
It may be remembered that the two CMs has exhibited unusual bonhomie by meeting over half a dozen times in less than eight months after Jagan Mohan Reddy became the Chief Minister of AP in May 2019 to hold talks to resolve several contentious issues between both the states post bifurcation of state in 2014.
During the talks, they discussed constructing joint projects over the Godavari to meet irrigation and drinking water needs of both the states and utilise surplus water in the Godavari for the betterment of both the states.
This bonhomie was short-lived after Jagan Mohan Reddy issued orders in May 2020 to construct the RLIS over the Krishna to divert water. Soon after, both the states filed cases in courts and tribunals accusing each other of taking up illegal projects on the Krishna. There have been no meetings between the two since then.