Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday sought to decry the politics over water and maintained he was only seeking to sustain cordial ties with neighbouring states.
The Andhra CM’s statement has come after Telangana stepped up offensive against AP over the last few days on the Krishna water issue.
Jagan Reddy, however, took strong exception to the statements against AP being made by Telangana government ministers and the TRS legislators.
"I have not poked my finger into Telangana politics. Neither have I poked fingers into Karnataka and Tamil Nadu politics. Jagan will not do that even in future. We need cordial relations between states and, through that, overcome the problems," the Chief Minister observed.
This was the first time Jagan spoke publicly on the raging row between AP and Telangana after having written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat seeking the Centres intervention to rein in the other Telugu state from going ahead with execution of illegal projects on river Krishna.
The Chief Minister took part in the farmers' day celebrations at Rayadurgam in Anantapuramu district on Thursday, where he launched several new projects for the agriculture sector on the occasion of his late father and former Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy's birth anniversary.
The opposition TDP, BJP, Jana Sena and Congress here had dubbed the row a drama between Jagan and Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for the sake of political gains.
"When KCR was constructing Palamuru-Ranga Reddy, Dindi and other projects, were you rearing donkeys as the then Chief Minister? ..." Jagan lashed out, apparently referring to TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.
The Chief Minister stressed that AP was only seeking to utilize its rightful share of Krishna water through the proposed Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme.
"This project is not to take away someone elses wate. A farmer is a farmer, here or there and water is
precious for all.They have to live and we have to live. We should unite to ensure water supply to all farmers (for irrigation) and also for drinking," Jagan remarked.
As per an agreement signed between AP, Telangana and the Centre in 2015, 144.70 tmc ft of water was allotted to Rayalaseema, 367.34 tmc ft to coastal Andhra and 298.96 tmc ft to Telangana, he said.
He asserted that neither he nor his YSR Congress party wanted any skirmishes with other states.
"When Telangana is generating (hydel) power with a water level of just 796 feet in river Krishna, what is wrong when we draw water through lift at 800 feet within our rightful share. Without the lift, there is no way water could be drawn (through Pothireddipadu head regulator) for the parched Rayalaseema region till the level touches 881 feet.
In the last 20 years, such a scenario existed only for about 20-25 days," the Chief Minister pointed out.