Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the government deserves credit for water resources management after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha laid claim to it.
Asked about the issue after Tuesday's cabinet meeting, Gen Prawit only said: "Credit goes to the government."
On Monday, Gen Prayut said that although Gen Prawit had been given a remit over water resources management, he as prime minister still had the final say on all major decisions.
Gen Prayut made the comment during a visit to a water management scheme in Nakhon Sawan's Banphot Phisai district in what some have seen as a move to undermine Gen Prawit.
"I set up the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) to coordinate water management because there are many agencies. I assigned Gen Prawit to oversee water management, but everything must be approved by the prime minister and the cabinet," Gen Prayut said.
The ONWR was created in December 2017 by the National Council for Peace and Order to take care of water management planning and policy involving 20 state agencies.
However, the political rivalry between Gen Prayut and Gen Prawit is being closely watched after the former pulled away from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) led by Gen Prawit to join the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party.
When the PPRP recently made a pre-election pledge to raise monthly allowances for state welfare cardholders to 700 baht, PM's Office Minister Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana claimed the scheme was actually the brainchild of Gen Prayut.
Gen Prawit was also spotted in several areas where Gen Prayut was scheduled to visit, seeking assurances from PPRP MPs that they would not defect to the UTN.
Gen Prawit plans to visit Nakhon Pathom and Ratchaburi today to follow up on water resources management projects.
Sources said Gen Prawit went to Ratchaburi on Jan 17 to meet the party's MPs for Ratchaburi and local politicians. They also said today's trip to Nakhon Pathom and Ratchaburi is intended for Gen Prawit to ensure the PPRP MPs in those provinces will stick with the ruling party ahead of the coming election.
He also wants to persuade some politicians from other parties to move to the PPRP.