Taking strong exception to the Karnataka government’s decision to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu, opposition BJP and JD(S) have accused the Congress dispensation of ’betraying’ the people of the state and its farmers for the sake of politics and to save its INDIA bloc ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK is a major part of the opposition bloc.
While BJP leader and former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said politics seems to have taken priority over the state’s interest, another former CM and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy alleged that the Siddaramaiah administration has not taken the people and opposition into confidence on the issue.
Clarifying that he never tried to politicise the Cauvery river water issue, Bommai, targeting Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar for making such allegations against him, said the Congress government was mixing politics.
”Congress along with other parties recently launched the INDIA alliance, and their partner in Tamil Nadu is DMK. This government releasing water to Tamil Nadu shortly after them (TN govt) raising the issue seems to be aimed at pleasing them and keeping them in good books for the sake of managing the alliance for the Lok Sabha polls,” he alleged.
Kumaraswamy too, targeting Shivakumar, who is also water resources Minister, on the issue, urged the government to immediately stop release of water to Tamil Nadu.
Charging the Congress government with ’sacrificing’ the interest of the state with respect to Cauvery river water to give life to INDIA alliance, he accused it of ’betraying’ the Kannadigas, especially the farmers.
Tamil Nadu on Monday approached the Supreme Court with a plea to direct Karnataka to release 24,000 cusec of Cauvery water daily for standing crops.
Following this, Shivakumar had on Tuesday said Karnataka would release 10 tmcft of Cauvery river water to the neighbouring TN, while maintaining that the state doesn’t have sufficient water in dams to meet its requirements like drinking water and agriculture, due to deficit monsoon.
”Cauvery river water dispute is not new, there is a tribunal order in which it is clearly mentioned about the quantity of water to be released for various crops. Tamil Nadu’s Kuruvai crop is 1.80 lakh hectare for which 32 tmc water has to be released, but this time they have grown in about 4 lakh hectare and 60 tmc water is already used,” Bommai told reporters.
Noting that state’s officials should have brought it to the notice of Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and should have protested against it, he alleged that the Karnataka government has failed to pay attention in this regard.
”Tamil Nadu is now asking for our farmer’s share of water. State government delayed releasing water to our farmers and taking into account the water level at the reservoirs Tamil Nadu is now asking”, he added.
Further alleging injustice to people and farmers of Karnataka in Cauvery basin amid ”improper” monsoon and shortage of drinking water, Bommai said, despite being aware of the situation the state government is making audacious statements about releasing 10 tmc water to Tamil Nadu.
”The CM says we will not release (more) water, while the Deputy Chief Minister says things are not in our hands and will abide by legal advisors,” he pointed out and said the government should instead tell the legal advisors to fight the case with records in the court.
Just because someone has gone to the Supreme Court, releasing water has never happened in the history of Karnataka, he said, adding, such decisions which are detrimental to the interest of the state, its people and farmers were never taken; this government has no commitment to protect the interest of the state, and has betrayed the people of Cauvery basin area.
Hitting out at Shivakumar for asking farmers of Cauvery basin to approach the court to release more water for crops, Bommai asked, if farmers have to go to courts, what is the need of electing representatives and government? ”People and farmers of Cauvery basin gave more MLAs to you (ruling Congress) to protect their interest, if you don’t do it you will be betraying them,” he said.
Kumaraswamy hit out at the Congress, calling it a symbol of ’deception’ and ’betrayal of trust.’ ”There is no question of tolerating this injustice (with respect to Cauvery river water). Release of water to Tamil Nadu should be stopped. Pressure should be put to follow the distress formula, and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should immediately call an all-party meeting to discuss the Cauvery issue,” he added.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)