Mhadei River (File photo)
Mhadei River (File photo)

Banking on protests in Goa over Mhadei project, BJP hopes to gain ground in K'taka bypolls

Pragya Kaushika | Updated: Nov 22, 2019 12:34 IST

By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], Nov 22 (ANI): The controversy over the sharing of Mhadei river water between Karnataka and Goa, which has been fomenting trouble for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), may finally end up as the one greatest cause that may bring back the BS Yediyurappa government to a clear majority in the state.
Sources in the BJP claimed that the party could very well turn the controversy into its favour in Karnataka as the union environment ministry has already given clearance to the project proposed by Karnataka on Mhadei river, and has also refused to withdraw it despite Goa government's request citing false claims made by the Karnataka regarding the project.
The sharing of the river water may well prove to be a big issue for the 14 out of 15 seats that are set to go for bypolls in the state next month.
The BJP is expected to send across a message that the Mhadei water will be utilised for the benefit of people in these constituencies going to polls on December 5, which is expected to help boost the chances of the party to regain these seats. The BJP has 105 MLAs in the 225 members' state legislature including one nominated member.
The bypolls were necessitated following the disqualification of rebel Congress and JD (S) MLAs after they revolted, leading to the fall of their coalition headed by then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. Most of the rebel Congress MLAs are now contesting the bypolls on a BJP ticket.
The BJP has 105 seats in the 225-member assembly and commands the support of one independent. If the nominated member is excluded, the BJP needs 113 to prove its majority. The party needs to win at least six seats to keep its government intact.
Winning at least six of these seats will be crucial for the Yediyurappa government and to maintain its majority in the state legislature. The bypolls are scheduled to take place on December 5.
With governments in both Karnataka and Goa, the party is stuck in a peculiar situation forcing the Centre to intervene and create a committee to find a solution to the Mhadei issue.
The party is, however, also in a firefighting mode in Goa and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has already met and petitioned Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar for an early resolution of the issue. The central committee has also been instructed to submit a detailed report on the issue within 15 days. (ANI)