Cutting across party lines, politicians in Tamil Nadu on Thursday condemned the Karnataka government's decision defying the Supreme Court order on Cauvery water issue and asked the Centre to intervene in the matter.
In a late night meeting yesterday, the Karnataka cabinet decided to defer the release of water to Tamil Nadu. The decision was announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after a late night cabinet meeting. The Supreme Court in its order on Tuesday asked Karnataka to release 6000 cusecs of water from Cauvery to Tamil Nadu everyday till September 27.
"The state cabinet has decided to defer releasing the river water to Tamil Nadu till the state legislature debates and decides on the apex court's fresh order on Friday," Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.
The cabinet also decided to request state Governor Vajubhai R Vala to convene a special session of the state legislature on September 23 to discuss the order, as the state is not in a position to release more water due to distress arising out of deficit monsoon rains in the river basin.
Political parties and farmer bodies came together on Thursday to condemn the decision by Karnataka and urged the Centre to set up the water management board immediately.
AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi said that the Centre and the Congress central leadership should intervene to ensure that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah followed the apex court’s verdict.
“What he has done is very unfair and unjust. And if a CM disobeys the law, what will happen to the common man and will there be a rule of law in that state?” Saraswathi was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
PMK chief S Ramadoss said Siddaramaiah was stirring a constitutional crisis by creating a confrontation between the legislature and judiciary and should be taught a strict lesson.
Accusing the Karnataka government of lying that it had no water to share, Ramadoss said that Siddaramaiah may cite this as a reason when the case comes up for hearing on September 27 in the top court.
A leader from M Karunanidhi’s DMK echoed the similar sentiments and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must intervene in the matter and should immediately constitute the Cauvery River Water Management Board which will sort out the problem once and for all.
Farmers’ bodies in Tamil Nadu expressed shock over the decision by Karnataka and asked the Centre to ensure justice to Tamil Nadu farmers.
“The Tamil Nadu government must file a formal complaint against the Karnataka government in the apex court,” BR Pandian, president of Tamil Nadu Federation of Farmers’ Associations was quoted as saying by the HT.
Pandian said Union minister Sadanand Gowda, who hails from Karnataka, was helping the Siddaramaiah government.
Praising Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa for securing a favourable court verdict, Pandian said that the matter now rests with Union water resources minister Uma Bharati and PM Modi to ensure justice.
The Supreme Court had ordered Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu from September 21 to September 27, while raising the quantum fixed by the Supervisory Committee on Monday, by 3000 cusecs.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit had also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) as directed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in its award.
The panel’s order to release 3,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu came into force after the state completed releasing 12,000 cusecs daily on Tuesday as per the apex court's September 12 order, which was a modification of its September 5 directive to release 15,000 cusecs daily for 10 days from September 7.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah had responded to the verdict by terming it "unimplementable".
"....The Supreme Court has passed an order, since we do not have water, it is very difficult to implement it. It is an unimplementable order," he told reporters.