Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday joined the protest in Mandya district called by pro-Kannada outfits and farmers’ organisations over the release of the Cauvery water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
Kumaraswamy also visited the KRS reservoir, one of the reservoirs in the state from which water is released to Tamil Nadu, to inspect the water level. He was joined by local JD(S) leaders.
Responding to the Congress leaders’ comments that the Cauvery water was also released when JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda was Chief Minister, Kumaraswamy asked the government not to play politics over the Cauvery water issue. He said that when Deve Gowda had released the water from the reservoir, there was sufficient rainfall in the Cauvery basin.
“In 1994, when H D Deve Gowda was Chief Minister, he released water to Tamil Nadu from KRS reservoir after the Centre made a request to do so. Also, that time there was sufficient rainfall in the region. I want to tell the government not to politicise the Cauvery water issue”, Kumaraswamy said.
The bandh in Mandya was called by activists and farmers after the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the direction of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) to Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water daily to neighbouring Tamil Nadu for 15 days.
Due to the bandh, most of the private and public vehicles were off the road and business establishments remained shut in the Mandya district on Saturday.
Kumaraswamy accused the Congress government of having failed the people of the state on the issue. “Cauvery water is our lifeline. This year, we didn’t got proper rain. We are fighting for many years of Cauvery water. Every day we are watching on TV these protests for Cauvery water. There has been a Rs 30,000 crore loss for our farmers as per government report. The government has failed on Cauvery water issue”, he said.
On Friday, amid the Cauvery water-sharing row with Tamil Nadu, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said that the government will safeguard the interests of the farmers of the state. Shivakumar also said that during the meeting held in the national capital on Friday, the Cabinet meeting decided to follow the court order regarding the Cauvery water distribution.
A Supreme Court bench of Justices B R Gavai, P S Narasimha and Prashant Kumar Mishra, while refusing to interfere in the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, said both CWMA and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) are regularly meeting and monitoring the water requirements every 15 days.
The court declined to entertain an application filed by the Tamil Nadu government to increase its current share of Cauvery water from 5,000 to 7,200 cusecs per day. Tamil Nadu has sought fresh directions for the release of Cauvery water from Karnataka, claiming that Karnataka had changed its stand and had released a reduced quantum of water as against what was agreed upon earlier. (ANI)