Cauvery award: Cong authorises PM to take the final call

The Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, on Tuesday discussed the stand the party has to take on notifying the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's (CWDT) final award.

Sources said that as the January 31 deadline set by the Supreme Court for notifying the award is fast approaching, it was decided at  the Congress core committee meeting that the final decision be left to the prime minister.

Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat, who was specially invited for the meeting, is learnt to have told the leaders that it is legally binding on the government to notify the award. He also informed the meeting that the Law Ministry has already given its approval for the notification.

While Tamil Nadu has been demanding early notification of the final award pronounced in 2007, Karnataka has been opposing it stating that it has been denied justice.
Despite pressure from Tamil Nadu for early notification of the final award, a section of leaders in the Congress was of the opinion that it should be deferred till the completion of the Assembly elections in Karnataka.

If it is notified immediately, rival parties, including Janata Dal (S) and BJP, may take advantage of the issue during the Assembly polls, some leaders opined. Both the parties are already opposing the notification saying that it would be a great injustice to Karnataka and have demanded that the State Congress leaders intervene in favour of Karnataka. Notifying the award would adversely affect the Congress’ poll prospects, the leaders said.

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