Belgaum: Karnataka has stopped releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu since last evening, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told the assembly on Monday.
Shettar said the government had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court on its recent directive and challenged the Cauvery Monitoring Committee order relating to the water release issue.
"We have stopped release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu since last evening", he said, as the issue rocked the assembly where the opposition Congress members staged a dharna protesting against the water release.
Complying with the Supreme Court order, Karnataka began releasing 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu since the night of December 6. The next day, the CMC also asked Karnataka to provide Tamil Nadu with 12 TMC of water during December.
"I earnestly urge the opposition members to cooperate with the government in resolving the Cauvery issue by withdrawing the dharna," he said, following which the protest was called off.
Shettar said the government was making all efforts to solve the issue and safeguard the interests of the farmers.
He objected to the CMC asking Karnataka to release 12 tmc ft of water in December. "The CMC`s recommendation to release 12 tmcft is a great injustice for Karnataka," he said.
Shettar said the government had already discussed the issue with legal experts. "In the light of the Supreme Court order, we did not want legal problems to crop up for us and hence we released the water," he said.
Congress leader Siddaramaiah said the CMC order to release 12 tmcft of water in December is a mere recommendation, not an order. "Karnataka should challenge it and clearly tell the CMC that it will not comply with it" he said, and asked Shettar to make a statement in the assembly that "no more water will be released to Tamil Nadu till the next monsoon session."
Earlier in the morning session, Siddaramaiah demanded the resignation of Shettar for running a minority government and not coming out clear on government`s stand on the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
He alleged Shettar had stated on the floor of the House that the government would not release water but it has been doing it.
"It has been cheating the people of the state, especially farmers living in Cauvery basin. Therefore on this score too, Shettar should tender his resignation," Siddarmaiah said.