Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today termed the Supreme Court's fresh order on release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as "unimplementable" and called an all party and cabinet meeting tomorrow to decide the next step, even as prohibitory orders were enforced across Bengaluru.
As he faced a fresh challenge on the raging Cauvery row at a time when the protests were abating, Siddaramaiah said the Supreme Court has passed an order, since we do not have water, it is very difficult to implement it. It is an "unimplementable order."
The Cauvery Supervisory Committee had yesterday asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs per day from September 21 to 30 but the apex court today doubled the quantum to 6,000 cusecs till September 27 after Tamil Nadu pressed for water to save its samba paddy crop.
The chief minister said Karnataka had placed certain facts based on ground reality before the Cauvery Supervisory Committee but it still passed an order directing the state to release 3,000 cusecs per day between September 21 and 30.
He said the Supervisory Committee was constituted by the apex court only which had given a direction on September 5 to Tamil Nadu to approach the panel and also asked Karnataka to file a response to the neighbouring state's plea.
Despite all this, the Supreme Court has passed an order today, Siddaramaiah told reporters here, stressing it was "unimplementable". Meanwhile, police have been deployed all over the city to ensure that no untoward incidents happen, a senior Bengaluru Police official said. Karnataka State Reserve Police, City Armed Reserve Police, Rapid Action Force and Quick Reaction Teams have been deployed all over the city, where prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrpC are in force, he said.
Siddaramaiah said the state government was awaiting the copy of the Supreme Court order and the state cabinet will meet tomorrow followed by an all party meeting to chalk out the future course of action after consulting legal experts.
"... we will discuss the pros and cons of this order. After taking views and opinion of leaders from all parties we will proceed further," he added. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit has also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks, the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) as directed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in its award.
Keeping in mind the last week's widespread violence over the Cauvery issue in Bengaluru, Siddarmaiah said, "I appeal to the people, especially to people from Cauvery basin to maintain peace; they should not get carried away by emotions".
"Government is committed to protect the interest of the state, its people and its farmers. Every one should cooperate," he said. Soon after the Supreme Court's order, Siddaramaiah held meetings with senior Ministers and officials.
As the Supreme Court order came, sporadic protests erupted in Mandya, Mysuru, Srirangapatna and nearby areas with farmers demonstrating on the streets. In Mandya district, the epicenter of Cauvery agitation, protesters at several places blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway.
Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place across the state, especially in the Cauvery basin area to ensure there is no repeat of the September 12 like situation, in which violence erupted in the city following reports of of attack on Kannadigas and their properties in Tamil Nadu and the apex court's direction to release 12,000 cusecs of water to the lower reparian state then.
"We have made all the necessary arrangements to maintain law and order. I humbly request people to maintain peace," Home Minister G Parameshwara said. He said the government is with the people and assured that that it is committed to protect Karnataka's land and water.
Both the opposition parties -- BJP and JD(S) have demanded that the state government immediately convene a Assembly session to discuss the issue. Terming the Supreme Court order as "unfortunate", state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa said "I am terribly disappointed by this most impractical, unscientific and grossly unfair verdict which seems to have been given without taking into consideration the genuine plight being faced by Karnataka on many fronts, including inadequate water for drinking water purpose to six major cities and 600 villages".
He also held the state government singularly responsible for this "disastrous consequence". Calling the order as "death blow" to the state, JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy expressed unhappiness about the "injustice" caused to the state in the federal system.
"...judgement needs to be appealed to a fuller bench. Perhaps, the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court itself must sit now and look into the constitutional aspects of what is involved in this pervert judgement," Congress leader S M Krishna said.
Asked whether he thinks the Prime Minister should intervene, he said, "This is the matter between the Supreme Court, the tribunal; I don't know how government of India comes into picture".