The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said it had decided to boycott the all-party meeting Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has convened on Wednesday evening to discuss the Supreme Court verdict on the release of more Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu.
"We are boycotting the all-party meeting in Bengaluru as the state government has not agreed to our demand for a special assembly session to discuss the Cauvery issue after the Supreme Court directed the state to release water to Tamil Nadu on September 5," BJP state unit president BS Yeddurappa said at Shivamogga, about 300 km from here.
"We have decided not to attend any meeting called by the Chief Minister on the Cauvery issue as our advice is not taken seriously or considered positively," Yeddyurappa told reporters.
The former Chief Minister also advised the party’s opposition leaders Jagdish Shettar (assembly) and KE Eshwarappa (council), Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and DV Sadananda Gowda and party’s lawmakers in Parliament to stay away from the meeting since the ruling Congress had "not considered" their many suggestions on the raging issue.
Asserting that the opposition party had attended all meetings the chief minister held over the last two-three weeks and given suggestions, Yeddyurappa said a special assembly session would enable a detailed discussion on the issue and passing of a unanimous resolution on Karnataka’s inability to release more water and convey the same to the apex court for immediate relief.
"In such a crisis situation, the legislature is the right forum to discuss the issue in detail and pass a resolution to protect the state’s interests and benefit the people," reiterated Yeddyurappa, a Lok Sabha lawmaker from Shivamogga constituency.
The apex court on Tuesday directed the state to release 6,000 cusecs of water daily from Wednesday for a week till September 27, modifying the order of its constituted Cauvery Supervisory Committee on Monday to release 3,000 cusecs daily for 10 days till September 30 in response to Tamil Nadu’s plea for water for cultivation.
As a result, Karnataka has to release 42,000 cusecs in seven days or 12,000 cusecs more than the 30,000 cusecs the panel directed to release in 10 days.
The top court’s fresh directive comes into force a day after the state completed the release of 12,000 cusecs daily on Tuesday as per its September 12 order, which is a modification of its September 5 order to release 15,000 cusecs daily for 10 days from September 7.
Though the regional outfit Janata Dal has decided to attend the all-party meet, its Mandya parliamentarian Putturaja and a couple of state lawmakers have decided to resign from their constituencies in protest against the adverse verdict.
The apex court’s Tuesday’s order will be placed at the all-party meeting along with the state’s representation to the supervisory committee and the petitions the state has filed before a division bench to plead the state’s inability to release any more water for irrigation to the neighbouring state.
Meanwhile, a marathon meeting of the state’s council of ministers was held at the Vidhana Soudha, the state’s secretariat, on the top court’s fresh order and discussed with the water technical experts and the state’s legal team.