In a recent statement, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has accused opposition parties, namely the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS), of engaging in political maneuvering amidst the ongoing Cauvery water sharing dispute. Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, the Chief Minister expressed his disappointment with both parties, asserting that their actions are politically motivated rather than serving the interests of the state or its citizens.
CM Siddaramaiah called for the intervention of either the Supreme Court or the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) to devise a distress formula for equitable water sharing between Karnataka and neighboring states during periods of water scarcity caused by insufficient rainfall. He emphasized that no such distress formula has been put into effect thus far, despite the repeated appeals from Karnataka. He stressed the importance of having a mechanism in place to manage water distribution during adverse climatic conditions.
The Chief Minister also acknowledged and welcomed the letter written by former Prime Minister HD Devegowda to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting a team of experts to assess the water availability and crop situation in the state. However, CM Siddaramaiah firmly rejected the assertion that the state government had failed in its efforts, categorizing it as a political statement. He affirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to addressing the water-sharing issue and its responsibilities to the people.
Responding to questions about the recent Bengaluru Bandh (strike), Siddaramaiah stated that while any group has the right to call for a strike, the government would not disrupt their activities. He cited a Supreme Court ruling that emphasizes the need to balance the exercise of fundamental rights without infringing upon the rights of others.
Regarding HD Kumaraswamy’s description of the Congress as a “B team” of the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) party, Siddaramaiah urged against making political comments after forming an alliance with the BJP.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar addressed the ongoing protests, asserting that people have the right to protest, and that the government respects their rights. He acknowledged that the state was unable to meet the CWMA’s demand for 5,000 cusecs of Cauvery water and indicated that the matter had been brought before the court. He also suggested that the BJP could take its protest regarding the Cauvery water release to the central government.
Meanwhile, farmers in Karnataka’s Mandya district have been staging protests to prevent the release of water from Karnataka dams to Tamil Nadu. These protests have arisen following the CWMA’s directive to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for a duration of 15 days, effective from September 13.
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