Bengaluru: Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, who began an ‘indefinite’ hunger strike on Saturday morning, seeking ‘justice’ for Karnataka in the ongoing Cauvery water, ended his fast on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s request.
The 83-year-old Janata Dal (Secular) supremo was sitting on fast near the Mahatma Gandhi statue next to Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat in Bengaluru.
Gowda's sudden decision comes in the backdrop of Karnataka government moving the Supreme Court seeking a review of its order directing the state to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu even as it faced strident calls from opposition parties not to release the water "at any cost".
The Karnataka government filed a review petition in the apex court against its three recent orders on Cauvery water release to Tamil Nadu and direction for constitution of Cauvery Water Management Board by Centre saying it would cause "undue hardship" to the state.
In the petition, it said that "grave miscarriage of justice" has been caused to it pursuant to three orders of the apex court dated September 20, 27 and September 30, by which it directed the state to release 6,000 cusecs of water till October 6 and constitution of board by Centre till October 4.
It said that apex court has "committed an error" in directing the Centre to constitute Cauvery Management Board, without considering the fact that three judges of apex court has held in 2013 that direction to constitute the board "can wait and may be heard along with the Civil Appeal".
"The court has not taken the cognizance of the fact that the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board, being Legislative in character, depends upon the authority exercising the power as well as the nature of the function and obligation arising from the Legislation", it said in the review plea.
The plea moved by Karnataka said further water release orders from the reservoirs of Karnataka would "cause irreparable injury" to Karnataka as once the release are made from the reservoirs of the state, the water cannot be retrieved in case of good normal North-East monsoon.
The apex court had yesterday taken Karnataka to task for its repeated "defiance" by flouting its orders for release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and had directed it to discharge 6,000 cusecs water from today till October 6. It had warned Karnataka that no one would know when the "wrath of the law" would fall on it.
Emerging out of a more than a three-hour long all-party meeting in Bengaluru, BJP and JDS leaders said they told the government to stick to the resolution passed by both the Houses of state legislature on September 23 that water should be used only for drinking purpose, and not be spared for any other use.
The opposition parties also asked the Siddaramaiah government to oppose the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Board. "We should not obey the Supreme Court order at any cost as it is unimplementable. The House (legislature) decision should be upheld. Government should stick to the decision," Opposition BJP leader in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar told reporters in Bengaluru.
JDS leader Y S V Datta said the state should not release 6,000 cusecs of water as directed by the apex court "at any cost". "Whatever may be the consequences, we will all face it together. We are with the government," he said.