Yediyurappa, who met Modi, said there is legal scope for State to take it up
Responding strongly to an all-party delegation of Tamil Nadu urging the Centre to prevent Karnataka from going ahead with the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Friday assured people of the State that his government would execute the project completely.
“I assure people of Karnataka that we will execute the Mekedatu project cent per cent,” Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters in New Delhi before meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss with him about the clearances related to the project.
“We have already convinced Tamil Nadu that Mekedatu project will not affect their interests. I have even written in this regard to them. But somehow, they have remained stubborn,” he said.
Scope as per law
“However, we have scope as per law to take up Mekedatu project. I will discuss everything and make efforts beyond my capacity to implement the project. Let there be no confusion in this regard,” he said, while making it clear that the project would benefit both the States.
Earlier, members of an all-party delegation from Tamil Nadu who met Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in Delhi, said the Centre had assured them that Karnataka would not be allowed to carry out any construction on the Mekedatu dam project on the Cauvery until approvals were granted by the Central Water Commission and the Cauvery Water Management Authority.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yediyurappa, who arrived in Delhi on a two-day visit, said he would hold consultations on Saturday on development works related to Karnataka with the newly appointed Ministers from the State.
He said he would also meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders before returning to the State on Saturday evening.
Mr. Yediyurappa’s meeting with the Prime Minister lasted barely for about 10 minutes. After the meeting, the Chief Minister told reporters that he had sought Central assistance from the Prime Minister for various projects being taken up in Karnataka and that he had responded positively.
A release from his office said, Mr. Yediyurappa requested the Prime Minister to declare Upper Bhadra project as a national project and also sought financial assistance of ₹6,000 crore for Bengaluru Peripheral Ring Road project. Mekedatu project and establishing the U.S. Consulate were also discussed, stated the release.
When asked about speculations of a possible leadership change, Mr. Yediyurappa said he was not aware of such things.
His Delhi visit had created curiosity in the wake of demand by a section of the party leaders that there should be a leadership change. Speculations were rife that Mr. Yediyurappa may try to flex muscles and silence his detractors by appealing to the party central leaders to allow him to reshuffle his Ministry. He is expected to make the pitch on Saturday. But it remains to be seen how the party central leadership would respond to his plea, as some of the party old-timers reportedly want a change of guard.
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