Cauvery issue: Siddaramaiah says 'what judges say doesn't become law'; Cabinet all-party meet begins

An all-party meeting of the Karnataka government to deliberate and decide on the Supreme Court order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu for three days starting Wednesday has begun, reported ANI.

The meeting of floor leaders of both the Houses in Karnataka cabinet, MPs and legislators and district in-charge ministers from the Cauvery basin on Wednesday morning will discuss the Supreme Court directions and the future course of action, official sources said.

Reserving his reaction to the Supreme Court's fresh direction, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said that he would consult legal experts and maintained that drinking water is a priority.

"I'm yet to speak to legal experts, I don't know about the order. I will speak to our advocates and react later," he told media in Bidar in north Karnataka.

To a question on Tamil Nadu's arguments against utilising Cauvery river water for Bengaluru, The Hindu quoted Siddaramaiah as saying, “The priority is for drinking water according to our national water policy (2012). So when they [Supreme Court judges] say release water, it immediately does not become a law or an order.”

HD Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah at an all-party meet on Cauvery Issue last Saturday. PTI

HD Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah at an all-party meet on Cauvery Issue last Saturday. PTI

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit on Tuesday directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu for three days, despite the resolution
passed by the state legislature last week to use the water only for drinking purpose.

The state legislature had signalled its inability to implement the court's earlier direction to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from 21 September till on Wednesday.

A special session of the legislature had on Friday adopted a unanimous resolution to use the water only to meet drinking water needs and not to provide it for any other purpose.

Following the apex court's fresh directions, sporadic protests erupted in Mandya, Mysuru, and nearby areas.

Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitharakshana Samiti (MZRHS), at the forefront of Cauvery agitation, said there was no change in its stand that water should not be released to Tamil Nadu.

Samiti president Made Gowda said, "Water should not be released at any cost ... they (Tamil Nadu) have enough water for their crops, they are doing vendetta politics."

Police, as a precautionary measure, have made elaborate security arrangements in Cauvery basin areas, especially Mandya and Bengaluru.

Bengaluru city has been placed under prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC.

Calling the Supreme Court's direction to Karnataka to release 18,000 cusecs of water for three days as "grossly unfair" and "unfortunate", state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa said the party will stand by any decision taken by the Siddaramaiah government in the interest of the farmers and the people.

Alleging that the Congress leaders continue to indulge in "cheap politicking" on the issue by dragging the Centre in it, he said they have "misinterpreted" and "twisted" one of the comments of the judges.

"The apex court asked the Attorney General whether it is possible for the intervention of the Union government in this issue. The AG sought time to reply to this question. At no point in time, the apex court mentioned about the intervention of the Prime Minister," he added.

Updated Date: Sep 28, 2016 11:25 AM

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