BJP-JD(S) doing politics on Cauvery row, won’t disrupt protest, says CM Siddaramaiah

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BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) of playing politics on the Cauvery issue.

“In a democracy, one can hold protests. We are not going to disrupt the protest. The BJP-JD(S) are playing politics on this issue. There is a hearing before the Supreme Court tomorrow regarding the Cauvery issue. Our lawyers will present a competent argument”, Siddaramaiah told reporters at Vidhana Soudha.

On the Opposition demanding his resignation over the issue, CM Siddaramaiah said, “When we called an all-party meeting on Cauvery river water sharing issue, did anyone said that I should resign from the post of CM? No one said that I should resign from the post of CM in the all party meeting”.

Responding to the Bengaluru Bandh call by farmers and pro-Kannada organisations to protest against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said that it will be difficult to release water in the current situation, but the state is bound to follow the Supreme Court’s directions.

“It will be difficult to release (Cauvery) water in the current situation, but we have to follow the direction of the Supreme Court as well. We have to respect the court. We have to protect the interests of our state no matter what. This is our duty”, Shivakumar said.

Meanwhile, a meeting of pro-Kannada organisations was held in Bengaluru ahead of the ‘Bengaluru Bandh’ called by various farmers’ and pro-Kannada organisations on September 26 to protest against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

“A decision has been taken for a complete Karnataka bandh on September 29. More than 1,000 organisations across the state have supported our bandh. Pro-Kannada organisations including KaRaVe Sivaramegowda and Praveen Shetty also have supported”, pro-Kannada activist and former MLA Vatal Nagaraj said after the meeting.

State Sugarcane Growers Association is one of the main organisations that first called the bandh. Farmers across Karnataka have been protesting since the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) ordered the state to release 5000 cusecs of water to its neighbouring state Tamil Nadu, for 15 days, effective from September 13.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai, P S Narasimha and Prashant Kumar Mishra while refusing to interfere in the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu last Thursday, said both CWMA and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) are regularly meeting and monitoring the water requirements every 15 days.

The court declined to entertain an application filed by the Tamil Nadu government to increase its current share of Cauvery water from 5,000 to 7,200 cusecs per day. Tamil Nadu had sought fresh directions for the release of Cauvery River water from Karnataka, claiming that the neighbouring State had changed its stand, and had released a reduced quantum of water as against what was agreed upon earlier. (ANI)

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