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We’ve always welcomed talks with neighbouring states: Siddaramaiah

Reacting to Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement, Chief Min­ister Siddaramaiah, on Monday, said that the Karnataka government led by Con­gress party never denied talks with neigh­boring states in resolving any conflict. The government has also urged Prime Minis­ter Narendra Modi to intervene to resolve the Mahadayi issue, said the chief minister.

He was speaking to media persons at Mandakalli Airport, before attending a programme in the city. The Karnataka government always welcomed the Goa government to resolve the Mahadayi issue outside the tribunal, he added.

When asked about the suggestion of Union Minister Manohar Parrikar over the issue, Siddaramaiah said, “Parrikar was the one who opposed peace talks. Karna­taka never opposed the discussion with the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.”

Siddaramaiah said “I have approached and written letters to PM Modi to resolve the issue. During my last visit to Delhi to meet PM to discuss about drought situa­tion in the State, I have urged him to con­vene a meeting of chief ministers of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka to find out a solution for Mahadayi issue. But the prime minister did not respond in positive.”

On the union minister’s statement that people from Karnataka were involved in AgustaWestland bribery case, the chief minister said, “I don’t know who are in­volved in the case. He (Parrikar) should not `hit and run.’ He should have mentioned the names of people from the state who are purported to be involved in the scam. In order to tarnish the image of Congress leaders, the BJP is making such baseless allegations.”

Additional funds sought

Speaking about funds from the centre to take up drought relief works, Siddara­maiah said that the prime minister had as­sured to sanction Rs 723 crore in a week or ten days. The state has sought an ad­ditional Rs 12,272 crore to tackle drought situation and for other development works like Multi Village Projects, permanent drinking water projects, filling of lakes and other activities, he said.

The state government has convened a meeting with MPs and union ministers from the state on May 11 to discuss about various projects implemented in the state, the chief minister said.

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