Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers are busy in Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, and hence, can’t take a decision on Cauvery water issue, the central government on Thursday told Supreme Court of India. During the hearing on Cauvery water dispute, Attorney General KK Venugopal sought 10 days time from the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud.
“A draft scheme has been placed before the cabinet. Because of Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister and all other Ministers are in Karnataka. Before that the Prime Minister was abroad (in China),” Venugopal was quoted as saying by PTI.
However, Venugopal faced strong rebuttal from senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu. Naphade said that Modi government is politicising the issue in wake of Karnataka elections.
“Sorry to say, the central government is politicising the issue. They are worried about their electoral fate in Karnataka. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of it, it is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism,” he said in the court.
The apex court then asked the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the four TMC of water it can release by month end.
The court also sought a response from the Centre on the steps it has taken by after court’s direction for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
The court also asked Karnataka to release 4 TMC of water by Monday. The court further observed that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.