Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi today over the reeling issue of sharing Cauvery river water with Tamil Nadu, the issue which led to violent protests in the state. Siddaramaiah is seeking PM Modi’s intervention to take up this issue with the Chief Ministers of both the states.
Meanwhile, normalcy returned in violence-hit Bengaluru with transport vehicles back in service and shops and establishments functioned pulling up the shutters. There are reports that curfew has been lifted from the city.
Two people were killed in the violent protest after the Supreme Court order directing Karnataka to share river waters with Tamil Nadu. The situation led to the imposition of curfew in entire Bengaluru city late on Monday night with Centre rushing additional forces.
On Tuesday, holding an emergency cabinet meeting, the Karnataka government 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”.
“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.
Karnataka CM also apprised the press that he has sought an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PM Modi too had expressed concern over the spike in violence and appealed for calm.
“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 had 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.
(With inputs from the PTI)