Holding an emergency cabinet meeting over the prevailing situation in the state, the Karnataka government on Tuesday decided to obey the Supreme Court’s modified order which has asked it to release 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till September 20. Addressing the press, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, however, stressed that the order is the “most difficult to follow”.
The state is witnessing violent protest over the emotive issue of sharing river water with the neighbouring state.
“This order is the most difficult to follow. But when we are functioning within the framework of the Constitution, though it is a difficult order, as a constitutionally formed government it is difficult to violate or reject the Supreme Court order. It will be a violation of the Constitution,” Siddaramaiah said.
The Chief Minister has also sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the issue with him.
“I had written to the Prime Minister, seeking his intervention. Today our Chief Secretary contacted the Prime Minister’s Office seeking his appointment immediately. Most probably, we will get it for tomorrow,” Siddaramaiah said.
“I will be meeting him seeking his intervention, because law and order in this will have a bearing not only on Karnataka, but also Tamil Nadu because of movement of people,” he said, adding “I will request him to call Chief Ministers of both the states to decide on this issue.”
Even though situation remained under control with no major violence in the state throughout the day, the state government once again assured that those indulging in violence during protests against release of water will be dealt with “iron-hands”.
“We have decided to take stringent steps to ensure that law and order is not disturbed because of this decision. No one should take law into hands and destroy public property,” the CM added.
The Chief Minister said the Cabinet had a detailed discussion and after weighing the pros and cons “constitutionally, legally and politically” and keeping in mind the main Special Leave Petition challenging the Cauvery tribunal’s final award coming up on October 18, it was decided to obey the court’s order.
Saying that the first order passed by the Supreme Court on September 5 was difficult, the Karnataka CM said yesterday’s modified order was “most difficult” to follow.
The state government had on Sunday moved the top court seeking a restriction on the quantum of water to be released from River Cauvery to Tamil Nadu, from 15,000 cusecs to 1,000 cusecs, citing the law and order problem in the state. But the court instead asked it to release 12,000 cusecs of water till Sepember 20.
“But we have accepted the federal set up and that the legislature, executive and judiciary should function in way complementary to one another,” he said.
Early on tuesday, PM Modi expressed concern over the spike in violence and appealed for calm. Two persons have been killed in the violence so far.
(With inputs from the PTI)