Centre not taking sides on 'Cauvery': Minister

By PTI Published on Feb 22, 2018 12:02 PM IST

Coimbatore: Union Minister Parshottam Rupala denied allegations that the BJP-led government was not taking steps to constitute the Cauvery Management Board, in view of the Assembly elections in Karnataka.

"The Centre has no intention to side with one state, with an eye on the assembly polls," the Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare told reporters here.

He was replying to persistent queries on whether the centre was not taking any measures against Karnataka due to the approaching elections in the state.

Rupala said the government stood for the benefit of farmers and the Cauvery issue was under its serious consideration.

"We are trying to sit with both the states, have conversation and guide them in the interest of farmers and not in the interest of X or Y," he added.

Karnataka and Tamilnadu have been locked in a longstanding dispute over sharing of Cauvery waters and the Supreme Court last week delivered a verdict reducing the quantum to the latter.

On the alleged neglect of a group of Tamilnadu farmers, who staged a prolonged protest in Delhi last year, he said the issue had been politicised.

For that matter, the Modi government was the first in the history of India to have taken various steps for the benefit of farmers, including scheme for doubling their income, neem-coated urea and risk cover, he said.

This apart, the government had set aside Rs 50,000 crore for 99 irrigation schemes pending for the last 25 years, he the Minister added.

Rupala was here to inaugurate a three-day international conference on "Emerging Synergies in Agriculture, Food Processing Engineering and Biotechnology," organised at Karunya University.