The Karnataka Cabinet has decided to call a special legislature session on Monday to discuss the release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told media in Bengaluru after a Cabinet meeting on Saturday that a decision was also taken to file a review petition in Supreme Court on Monday against the formation of Cauvery Management Board.
The petition would seek review of the apex court’s order directing the Central Government to form the Cauvery Management Board as the state government claims that it goes against the apex court’s earlier order dated December 3, 2013 to put on hold the formation of the Board till the civil appeal was decided. It was also decided in the cabinet not to nominate any member from Karnataka to the board.
The CM said notices to the other two riparian parties of the Cauvery river, Kerala and Puducherry were not issued on the formation of the Board. He also mentioned that Inter-State Water Dispute Act of 1956 stipulates that any water board should be ratified by Parliament. He said there is no wilful disobedience of the apex court order in the case, as the government is bound by the resolution of the legislature.
On September 23, the state legislature had unanimously resolved to reserve waters of the Cauvery river for drinking purpose of the people in the state. The special session of legislature will not only discuss about release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu, but also seek approval for the release of water to irrigation canals for standing crops in the Cauvery Basin.
A proposal to take a delegation to the President on the Cauvery issue and to seek a mandate for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention may also come up for discussion in both houses of the state assembly on Monday.
The Opposition BJP and JD (S) have suggested to the state government not to release the water to Tamil Nadu. They have also opposed the Supreme Court’s direction to establish the Water Board.