PM acted under TN pressure: Minister

 Law Minister S Suresh Kumar on Friday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh succumbed to Tamil Nadu’s pressure and unilaterally ordered the release of 9000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day from Karnataka.

Suresh Kumar, who also holds the parliamentary affairs and urban development portfolios in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Karnataka government, told reporters here on Friday that the State had presented its stand properly to the Cauvery River Authority (CRA), which is headed by the prime minister.

Suggestions made by Opposition parties — Janata Dal (S) and the Congress — were also included in Karnataka’s presentation to the CRA, said Suresh Kumar.

He denied that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai had boycotted the CRA meeting, following which the decision to release water came about. Even though they presented Karnataka’s plight to the CRA, they did not find a favourable ruling, he said.

Chief Minister Shettar and Bommai had resisted the order to release water and walked out in protest, explained the minister.

The Union government has meted out a raw deal to Karnataka on the Cauvery issue because of its political equations with regional parties in Tamil Nadu, said Suresh Kumar.

Karnataka started to release water on September 28 as per the orders of the Supreme Court, which was based on a CRA direction.

He expressed hope that Karnataka’s water situation, especially in the drought-hit Cauvery river basin, would be appreciated by the Supreme Court when its application comes up for hearing on Monday.

Water levels in the Krishnarajasagar (KRS) and Kabini dams have come down since, he added and said the State has to manage with the current resources until the next monsoon in June, while Tamil Nadu is expected to receive more rainfall in the weeks ahead from the receding monsoon.

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