Cauvery row: Karnataka releases water, Tamil Nadu cross with Centre
Both the major political parties in Tamilnadu accused the Centre of trying to woo Karnataka ahead of election by denying to form a Cauvery Water Management Board. AIADMK MPs have staged a protest march to the Prime minister's office
On Monday night, Karnataka started releasing water to Cauvery basin and Tamil Nadu. The weeks-long defiance of the Supreme Court order is now coming to an end now, The Hindu has reported. However, the state assembly’s resolution did not mention about the quantity of water it is going to release.
Meanwhile, AIADMK party MPs staged a march to the Prime Minister's Office asking the Centre to set up the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB), submitting a memorandum to the Prime Minister requesting the same.
The Supreme Court last week had directed the Centre to set up CWMB including representatives from claimant states Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the union territory of Puducherry, headed by the Union Water Resource Minister, whose experts were to travel to both states to assess their needs.
But the Centre has requested the court to modify the verdict saying it cannot form such a body alone and that only the Parliament had the authority to create such an agency.
Meanwhile, the political muddling up on the dispute is making the issue worse. Tamil Nadu's AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi accused the BJP government on Monday that they opposed the constitution of the Board with an eye on the Karnataka assembly elections.
“Every time in Karnataka, they will have all-party meeting assembly they say this- we can’t give order to Tamil Nadu. We want it for drinking purpose. It’s a recorded answer. This is the same word coming from the Congress as well as from the BJP,” she said.
The AIADMK has accused both the Congress and BJP want to be in power and, hence, both were playing games on the Cauvery issue. She has said that the parties may have differences in other matters, but they are singing the same tune when in comes to the Cauvery issue.
“The government is not taking the word of the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court gives a judgment, they have to oblige. We agree that drinking purpose is also important, same time irrigation is also important,” the AIADMK spokesperson said reporters.
She said the people of Karnataka have no issues with releasing water but some politicians there are creating issue in wake of the upcoming elections.
DMK president M Karunanidhi in a statement condemned the Centre's submission before the Supreme Court stating that by this sudden and biased decision, the Centre has reduced itself to an instrument reflecting the sentiments of Karnataka . By this move, he said, the BJP government has not only belittled the judiciary but also cheated the people of Tamil Nadu.
The DMK leader also observed the Centre's decision as influenced by the assembly elections in Karnataka slated for 2018.
He has urged all sections in Tamil Nadu to unite and oppose the moves of the Centre and Karnataka government. He demanded an all-party meeting and a special session of the Tamil Nadu assembly to be convened to discuss the issue.
Karnataka on Monday passed a resolution in the special session to release water for the farmers in the state but the resolution was silent about the ultimatum by the Supreme Court to the Karnataka state government to release 6,000 cuses of water to Tamilnadu till October 6. The session has decided to release water for drinking as well as farming purpose, where earlier on September 23 the state government had clarified that the water from the Cauvery will be used only for drinking purpose of the state.
The Supreme Court directed the state government on September 30 to release 6000 cueses of water for Tamil Nadu from October 1 to October 6 and asked to form a Cauvery Water Management Board, whose report on ground realities has also been sought by the top court by October 6th. But the Centre told the Supreme Court that they need the consent of both the Houses of Parliament to form such a body.