Theweekendleader

Congress goes digital to protest on Mhadei issue in Goa

Panaji

25-November-2019

 Hamstrung by the prolonged clampdown of Section 144 CrPC, which has deterred Opposition parties from launching an on-ground offensive against the Union MoEF's recent green nod to Karnataka's controversial Kalasa-Banduri water diversion project, the Congress has opened a new battlefront in the digital space.

The digital campaign, through release of posters, graphics will leverage pressure on the government using social media as a platform.

"The digital campaign will have one awareness poster released on digital media every day and will involve all twelve talukas of Goa. It will target every BJP Minister and MLA who are silent on injustice against Goa for lust of power. The posters will also highlight the mass corruption and irregularities by various ministers and MLAs and force them to join the protest," Goa Congress spokesperson Urfan Mulla told reporters on Monday.

The objective of the digital campaign, he said, was also to create popular pressure on the BJP MLAs in order to push them to questioning the MoEF's decision to okay the Kalasa-Banduri project last month.

Mulla also said, that the BJP-led coalition government's decision in Goa to prolong the enforcement of Section 144 CrPC, which was imposed just before the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict earlier this month, was aimed at smothering the popular opposition and deterring it from carrying out protests against the government's failure to secure Goa's interests in the Mhadei inter-state water dispute.

"The Congress Party will lead the peoples' movement to save our lifeline, the Mhadei river. We once again demand that Section 144 imposed in Goa be withdrawn immediately. The peoples' right to protest is a democratic right and Government has no right to supress the agitation to save lifeline of Goa. He said our taluka (sub district) wise protest Mhadei Jagor (vigil) will continue," Mulla also said.

Earlier this month, Union MoEF Minister Javadekar turned down Goa government's request for withdrawal of the MoEF's letter issued last month, giving the Karnataka government a go-ahead for the Rs 841 crore Kalasa-Banduri project, which aims to divert water from the Mhadei river to the water deficit basin of the Malaprabha river, ostensibly for drinking purposes.

On November 4, Sawant led an all-party delegation to New Delhi to meet Javadekar and urged him to withdraw his green nod to the project, claiming the matter was sub judice and that the diversion of water would wreak havoc in Goa.

The Mhadei river originates in Karnataka and meets the Arabian Sea near Panaji in Goa, while briefly flowing through Maharashtra.

An inter-state water disputes tribunal, set up by the central government, after hearing the over two-decade-old Mhadei river water sharing dispute among Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, in August 2018 allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka and 1.33 TMC to Maharashtra.IANS