New Delhi, today, serves as the backdrop for a significant gathering presided over by Karnataka's Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah. The meeting has drawn the participation of Union Ministers and All-Party Members of Parliament (MPs), converging to discuss the ongoing and contentious Cauvery water-sharing disagreement.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar is among the prominent attendees, along with Union Ministers Prahlada Joshi, Shobha Karandlaje, Bhagwant Khooba, Narayanaswamy, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and several distinguished Supreme Court lawyers. Additionally, the assembly includes elected representatives from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, MLAs representing the Cauvery basin, ministers, and legal experts.
The primary focus of this pivotal meeting is to deliberate upon the strategies and decisions essential for safeguarding the interests of Karnataka in effectively managing the complex issue of sharing Cauvery River water. It unfolds following a directive from the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), instructing Karnataka to release 5000 cusecs of Cauvery Water by September 26. Notably, Karnataka has initiated the water release but remains embroiled in a dispute with CWMA, seeking a reduction in the mandated water release due to severe drought conditions affecting certain regions within the state.
Ahead of the gathering in Delhi, Karnataka's Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar voiced the unity of purpose among all the state's MPs, asserting their collective commitment to protect Karnataka's interests. He stated, "All the MPs of the state are meeting. We will join together and safeguard the interests of Karnataka. We are appealing to the Supreme Court also to help."
Besides the Cauvery dispute, the meeting's agenda extends to address other pressing matters, including pending state projects before the Central government and the pressing issue of drought relief.
On a related note, a delegation of Tamil Nadu MPs and MLAs, led by State Water Resources Minister Durai Murgan, engaged in discussions with Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Shekhawat earlier in the day, aiming to seek a resolution to the ongoing impasse. Tamil Nadu has raised concerns about the Karnataka State Government's alleged non-compliance with the CWMA's order, which directed Karnataka to release 5000 cusecs of Cauvery Water by September 26. Durai Murugan, in addressing the matter, stated, "Karnataka dams have water, but the state is refusing to release it as per the directions of the Cauvery Water Management Board."