January 31, 2018
On an election pitch, Karnataka chief minister S Siddaramaiah will be ducking the ‘Cauvery’ political googly hurled at him by Tamil Nadu chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami and would be playing out for time and wait for the Supreme Court final verdict on the river water sharing row between the two states.
For sure, there will be no meeting with Tamil Nadu chief minister, said senior Congress party sources expressing the confidence that the Apex court ruling would be favourable to Karnataka. A reliable source from the party maintained that ‘we will get 470 tmcft of Cauvery water as against the present 270 tmcft’ from the SC verdict.
The Karnataka chief minister may be busy till state budget is presented after mid February and is not expected to get free to meet his Tamil Nadu counterpart till after the presentation of the budget.
Meanwhile within Tamil Nadu, Eapaddi Palaniswami’s initiative has won him support from the principal opposition party, the DMK, whose working president MK Stalin welcomed a dialogue between the two states and even demanded that the opposition be included in the delegation that would call on the CM and other officials of Karnataka.
In fact, said Stalin in a press statement here in Chennai on Wednesday that “the state should also form an all party delegation and call on the President and the Prime Minister to press for justice for Tamil Nadu and its farming community of the Cauvery delta region.
EPS had written to Siddaramaiah seeking time to call on him to discuss Cauvery river water sharing and had even telephonically conveyed the govenrment’s resolve to have a dialogue with Karnataka to resolve the dispute amicably.
Stalin maintained that the step should have come in much earlier.
EPS sought a meeting with the Karnataka chief minister after water inflow to then Mettur Dam had gone down because of which sufficient water could not be released for irrigation in Delta region of Tamil Nadu.
But this decision to seek an audience with Siddaramaiah was flayed by PMK founder S Ramadoss on Wednesday and said he was shocked that EPS was about to forgoing TN’s hard-fought rights in the river waters.
According to Ramadoss, the Tamil Nadu government should have taken steps to get state’s share of 80 tmcft of water from Karnataka.
Ramadoss said with the assembly elections around the corner there, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah would not order release of Cauvery water.
He could however suggest talks to sort out the water dispute, which could linger on and on.