Coimbatore, Feb 21 (PTI) Union Minister Parshottam Rupala today 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. Also Read - Karnataka Agriculture Minister Takes COVID-19 Vaccine at Home, Centre Seeks Report

“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. Also Read - Coronavirus: 5 States Witness Spurt in Cases in 24 Hours, Maharashtra Extends Lockdown in 2 Districts | Key Points

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. Also Read - Karnataka Man Strangles Leopard to Death in Battle of Survival, Hailed as Real Life George Kutty

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 Tamil Nadu 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 Tamil Nadu 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.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.