BENGALURU: Over release of River Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu by the State Government on the order of Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), Janata Dal Secular leader and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday asked political parties of Karnataka-the Congress party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal Secular, Raitha Sangha among others to strive to find out a permanent solution to the River Cauvery water sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
"How long can we drag the dispute?" questioned Kumaraswamy and stated that "certain drastic steps are needed to take the Cauvery water dispute to a logical end." At a press conference, Kumaraswamy felt that the State Government needs to take bold decisions to safeguard its interests and to pull Karnataka out of the Federal system if the interests of Karnataka gets ignored repeatedly from the Central Government.
He accused both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress party governments of ignoring the interests of the State over Tamil Nadu and observed that Tamil Nadu gets priority from the Centre but not Karnataka. "It is for the political parties of Karnataka to ponder upon?' said the JDS leader.
The JDS leader was unhappy over the order of the Cauvery Water Management Authority over its decision asking Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for a fortnight without assessing the ground realities in both the States and accused the CWMA of issuing the order sitting in an air-conditioned room. Expressing ire, he said, "What sort of Federal system is this?"
Kumaraswamy said he had suggested to the State Government a month back to wait for the Supreme Court order before water release to Tamil Nadu but the State Government obeyed to the order of CWMA and released water to Tamil Nadu exposing its weakness before the CWMA. "What would have happened?" asked Kumaraswamy had the State Government waited for the order of the Supreme Court on water release to Tamil Nadu.
The former Chief Minister accused the officials concerned of the Water Resources department of taking the River Cauvery dispute for granted and stated that during the meeting on water release to Tamil Nadu, only a couple of them attend the meeting while about 15 officials from Tamil Nadu make it to the meeting. "It has been the difference between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu," observed the JDS leader.
"The problem of water release to Tamil Nadu arises once in about 4-5 years," he said and stated that reservoirs in Cauvery basin are not to store water and release it to Tamil Nadu whenever it demands.
Kumaraswamy stated that the reservoirs in Cauvery basin have been built without funds from the Central Government whereas Tamil Nadu gets funds for its drinking water projects and he alleged that "It is Tamil Nadu which is taking up projects illegally."
Kumaraswamy assured to take up River Cauvery dispute with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting on September 21 and asserted that alliance between JDS and BJP is a different issue but his party would not compromise on issues related to the State.