Cauvery: Gowda flays Union ministers from State

Janata Dal (Secular) President H D Deve Gowda has lashed out at the Union ministers from State for their ‘apathy’ in championing the interests of State in regard to the Cauvery issue.

Briefing reporters here on Tuesday, Gowda said that despite his meeting the Union ministers several times and urging them to impress upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the disadvantages to Karnataka if the final award of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal is notified, they did absolutely nothing.

“I met M Veerappa Moily, Mallikarjun Kharge and K Rehman Khan. I literally begged them to take necessary steps to protect the State’s interest. But, they did not even bother to convene a meeting of Karnataka MPs on the issue,” he remarked.

Even though the Supreme Court had asked all the riparian states to settle the issue amicably through negotiations, the Centre had unilaterally informed the apex court that it would take steps to notify the award by January 31, 2013, he said.

“I do not want to politicise the issue. But, I would like to know the reason for the Centre taking such a decision in a hurry,” he stated.

Leaders from Tamil Nadu easily get appointments with the Prime Minister to discuss the Cauvery issue, but not those from Karnataka. This shows that the Centre has been under pressure from Tamil Nadu, he said.

He criticised the State Congress leaders for taking out a padayatra from Hospet in Bellary district to Basavakalyan in Bidar district saying that they should have taken out a padayatra from Mysore to Bangalore if they had any concern for the farmers of the Cauvery basin.

Defends Shettar

The former prime minister, who later in the day held a meeting with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and his cabinet colleagues Basavaraja Bommai and S Suresh Kumar, told reporters that there was no point in pinning the blame on Shettar.

“The fact remains that Shettar has made efforts to draw the Centre’s attention to Karnataka’s problem. Despite continued efforts, the Prime Minister has not given Karnataka an appointment. I am ready to even prostrate before the Union ministers from State. I will also go and meet former Union minister S M Krishna if need be. They should help Karnataka get an appointment with the Prime Minister. This matter has to be addressed immediately. There is already a drinking water crisis,” he said.

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