Union minister Uma Bharti on Thursday appealed for peace between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on Cauvery water issue and said she may go on hunger strike on the border of the two riparian states if there is any report of fight between them. A meeting convened by the Centre on Thursday to iron out the differences between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on the impasse, failed to achieve any breakthrough.
Talking to mediapersons after chairing the meeting, she said “no problem should prevail there” over water sharing as long as Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister and she is the Union Water Resources Minister. No solution could be arrived at the meeting as Tamil Nadu did not accept Karnataka’s proposal for sending a central expert team to assess availability of water in Cauvery basin.
“I am appealing to both the states… I am not threatening, it is an appeal, if I hear a single thing (about fight), I am going to sit on hunger strike on the border of the two states,” Bharti said. She said the meeting took place close on the heels of Centre’s efforts to broker peace between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi river water, and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over Krishna water dispute, although this is a state subject.
Modi is “determined” to do justice with each state, Bharti said, adding, “There should be no politics which causes discomfort to the people.” Terming Karnataka’s proposal of sending an expert team to the river basin as “an out of box” idea which the Supreme Court would have been “happy with”, the Union minister said she was disappointed that her ministry “could not fulfill the expectations” of the apex court.
“However, our doors will remain open whenever people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu approach us (either) through the Supreme Court or over any of their (water) projects. We are ready to cooperate to the extent possible,” she said. The Supreme Court had on Tuesday asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to facilitate the meeting between executive heads of the two states to find a solution to the impasse over sharing of Cauvery water. The views expressed by both the states will be conveyed to the Supreme Court through Rohatgi, Bharti said. On allegations that the Centre is backing Karnataka, Bharti said, “The meeting was held not under any compulsion or was not influenced by any political reason. It was a sitting on the order of the Supreme Court and the whole meeting was unbiased.”
DMK had on Wednesday accused Bharti of backing Karnataka on the Cauvery issue and said Modi should chair the proposed meeting of chief ministers to break the impasse.