Opposition parties in Karnataka today asked the Siddaramaiah government not to release “at any cost” 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as directed by the Supreme Court, and to oppose the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Board. Emerging out of a more than a three-hour long all-party meeting here, BJP and JDS leaders said they told the government to stick to the resolution passed by both the Houses of state legislature on September 23 that water should be used only for drinking purpose, and not be spared for any other use.
Soon after the all-party meet, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah went into a huddle at a meeting of the Council of Ministers which would take a call on the Supreme Court directive. Taking Karnataka to task for its repeated “defiance” by flouting its orders on release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and giving it a last chance, the Supreme Court yesterday asked it to discharge 6,000 cusecs from October 1 to 6, warning no one would know when the “wrath of the law” would fall on it.
The court had also directed the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board by October 4. “We should not obey the Supreme Court order at any cost as it is unimplementable. The House (legislature) decision should be upheld. Government should stick to the decision,” Opposition BJP leader in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar told reporters.
He said BJP was opposed to the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Board and added, “We will do all that is necessary to put pressure on the Centre (not to constitute it).” JDS leader Y S V Datta said the state should not release 6,000 cusecs as directed by the apex court “at any cost”. “Whatever may be the consequences, we will all face it together. We are with the government,” he said.
He said since the state was opposed to the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Board, it should not name its representatives to it. Datta said that if a situation of contempt of the court was to arise, all MPs, MLAs and MLCs should submit affidavits stating that that they all be made responsible and not just the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda today began an “indefinite” fast seeking “justice” for Karnataka in the ongoing row with Tamil Nadu. The 83-year-old Janata Dal (Secular) supremo is sitting on fast near the Mahatma Gandhi statue next to Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat here, saying, “We want justice. Drinking water is essential for humans to survive.”