With the Cauvery river water dispute hotting up again, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday asserted that the contentious issue with Tamil Nadu will be solved through mutual understanding.
The newly-elected CM met actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan earlier today and urged the latter to be a bridge between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in resolving the water-sharing dispute.
“We (Kamal and I) discussed the issue of the (Cauvery) Water Management Board. Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu maintain a cordial relationship over the Cauvery issue and it will be solved through mutual understanding,” Kumaraswamy told reporters after meeting the Makkal Needhi Maiam party chief at his home office.
“Farmers of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are equally important,” CM Kumaraswamy emphasised, while delving into the topic.
Last week, the central government set up a Cauvery Water Management Authority (CMA) to address the dispute over sharing of river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry. This followed the February 16th Supreme Court’s order directing the government to form the CMA within six weeks in a verdict that marginally increased Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water, reduced the allocation for Tamil Nadu and sought to settle the protracted water dispute between the two southern states.
Kamal, on the other hand, said the water sharing issue can be resolved if the states come together for dialogue. “Court should be the last resort. If the people of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka come together, the issue can be resolved,” he said.
The actor’s visit to Karnataka comes on the heels of the state’s film distributors’ decision to not screen Tamil actor Rajinikanth’s “Kaala” in theatres across the state protesting against the superstar’s stand on the Cauvery river row.
When asked about the Tamil film not being screened in Karnataka, Kamal said the discussion with the Chief Minister did not include the subject of movies. “This discussion (with Kumaraswamy) was not about films. There is a film chamber to look into the issue. This issue (of Cauvery water) is more important,” he added.
Your warm hospitality and openness in discussing the Cauvery issue & various other issues concerning our two states is fully reciprocated sir. I assure you I will do my best in being a trustworthy bridge between Karnataka & Tamilnadu. Thank you for a heartwarming meeting. https://t.co/0CEH6C0lZ0
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) June 4, 2018
67-year-old Rajinikanth has often faced the wrath of pro-Kannada organisations for his comments on the Cauvery issue. The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) is upset with Rajinikanth’s reported statement that whichever government comes to power in Karnataka should implement the Supreme Court order on Cauvery water sharing in toto.
The chamber recently decided not to allow screening of his movie Kaala, slated for release on June 7, in the state.
In a related development, Kannada actor Prakash Raj said the film fraternity was being targeted. “What has the film ‘Kaala’ got to do with the Cauvery issue? Why is film fraternity targeted always?
“Will the JD-S-Congress government let fringe elements take law into their hands… like the BJP did with ‘Padmaavat’ or will you step in to assure common man his right for choice?” Raj tweeted.
Karnataka Rajinikanth Fans Association too has written to KFCC, seeking chief minister H D Kumaraswamy’s intervention to solve the issue.
“Politics should not be mixed with cinema. Rajinikanth had made remarks on the formation of Cauvery water board, which could be beneficial to both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” president of Karnataka Rajinikanth Fans Association, Rajani Santosh said.
On June 2, minister of state for finance and shipping Pon Radhakrishnan had asked DMK working president M K Stalin to request its ally Congress in Karnataka to take steps to release the film.
‘Kaala’ is scheduled for a worldwide release on June 7.