Bengaluru (Karnataka): With the Supreme Court yesterday directing the Karnataka government to comply with its earlier order of releasing 6,000 cusecs of the Cauvery River water to Tamil Nadu for the next three days i.e. till Friday, former chief minister and BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa on Wednesday said there is no water at all, and added that his party would support Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at an all-party meeting being held today.
"We had unanimously taken a decision in the assembly, as we don`t have water for drinking, and thus, it`s not possible for us to release the Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu. We requested the Supreme Court accordingly, but unfortunately, the apex court directed us to release 18,000 cusecs of water in the next three days (till Friday). As there is no water at all, the chief minister is going to take an all-party meeting today, and whatever decision the government takes, we will abide by that," Yeddyurappa told ANI.
When his response was sought on the apex court setting aside the resolution passed by the state assembly and asked Karnataka to release the water, the former chief minister said, "The Supreme Court is very firm and has given direction to the state government to release the water, so now the government must take an unanimous decision at the all-party meeting. Besides, we also don`t know what legal experts have suggested to our irrigation minister. He is coming late Tuesday night. According to his feedback, the chief minister is going to take a decision. We will discuss in detail today and will take a decision."
Asked about the Bharatiya Janata Party`s response on the Cauvery water sharing issue, the BJP state president said, "The BJP is going to support the (state) government wholeheartedly. Whatever decision the chief minister takes, we will support it unanimously."Reacting to a question on the possibility of the apex court considering Karnataka`s request in this regard, he said, "We have already tried our best, but the court has given a very clear direction to release the water. We don`t know what our legal experts have given as suggestions, and also, we have already tried to convince the court, but failed. So, wait up to 9.30 am tomorrow."
Setting aside a resolution passed by the Karnataka state assembly, the apex court also asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to facilitate a meeting between the governments of the two states to find a solution to this long-standing problem by Friday.
The court has, however, agreed to a further hearing of the matter on Wednesday.The apex court`s directions came during a hearing on the Karnataka Government`s plea urging the court to modify its earlier order on the Cauvery waters sharing with Tamil Nadu. In its plea, Karnataka had said its reservoirs are dry and it can only release water to Tamil Nadu by the end of the year. While Karnataka sought modification of September 20 order of the apex court, its neighbour Tamil Nadu contested against modification.Karnataka said it was not in a position to release water to Tamil Nadu on various grounds, while Tamil Nadu said Karnataka is acting as judge in its own cause and refusing to comply with the orders in spite of the matter being sub judice.
The petition came three days after Karnataka`s legislature passed a resolution saying the river will be used only for meeting the drinking water needs of villages and towns in the Cauvery Basin and Bengaluru. The resolutions, however, did not mention the top court`s order directing the state to release 6,000 cusecs every day (cubic feet per second) of water to Tamil Nadu till September 27.Karnataka has said its citizens would go thirsty and crops in the state will be ravaged if it releases any more water to Tamil Nadu.
Over the past month, both states are fighting a legal battle in various courts over the sharing and distribution of Cauvery waters.