A special session of the Karnataka legislature is expected to pass a unanimous resolution on Friday that the state is constrained to release more Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
The resolution may also explain the severe shortage in the reservoirs of the Cauvery basin, which is forcing the legislature to take such a stand. The Assembly and the Council are scheduled to meet at 11 am and the Cauvery row is the only subject on the agenda of the day-long session. The three major political parties — the Congress, BJP and the JD(S) are expected to take a unanimous stand against releasing water to Tamil Nadu despite the Supreme Court order.
The state Cabinet on Wednesday had decided to take the legislature route to express its inability to release water to the neighbouring state, following the apex court’s directive to Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu every day from September 21 to 27.
If sources in the government are to be believed, the state stopped releasing water to Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. However, the government has been on guard when it comes to backing its claim by releasing relevant data.
Assembly Speaker K B Koliwad said he had not fixed any time frame for Friday’s discussions. “Once the discussions conclude, I will put the resolution to vote for adoption. In all probability, the session will conclude on Friday,” he said.
According to sources, once the resolution is adopted, the government may submit before the apex court that it could not implement its order as the legislature had mandated it not to release water because of paucity. The available water is hardly sufficient for drinking and therefore, it is not possible to release water for irrigation activities in Tamil Nadu.
The Congress has issued a whip to its members to mandatorily attend Friday’s session, while the BJP has given oral instructions that attendance is compulsory. All the JD(S) members are also expected to participate in the session. The BJP has come under criticism for boycotting Wednesday’s all-party meeting convened by the chief minister. The BJP, like the JD(S), has been suggesting that water should not be released to Tamil Nadu.
‘Not releasing water’
However, till Wednesday, Siddaramaiah had not spoken in terms of not releasing water. Soon after the government decided to defer the release of water, BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa said his party legislators would attend the legislature session.
‘Stick to stand’
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar said the BJP would stick to its stand that the government should not release water to Tamil Nadu. But the party would not hesitate to expose the failures of the government in protecting the interest of the state in the court, he said.
Earlier in the day, JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda called up BJP leaders Yeddyurappa, Shettar and K S Eshwarappa and urged them to back the Cauvery issue.