The Karnataka government will hold an emergency meeting of the state Cabinet on Wednesday to review the Supreme Court’s Tuesday order to release 6,000 cusecs of water from Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu for two days. An all-party meeting is also scheduled for Wednesday, where legislators will make a collective decision for Karnataka.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “The Cabinet meeting will discuss the pros and cons of implementing the court order and seek the opinion of floor leaders, MLAs and MPs of the Cauvery basin and a legal team and technical experts before taking a final call." He, however, told The Hindu that the priority is drinking water for his own state. “So when they [Supreme Court judges] say release water, it immediately does not become a law or an order.”
All political parties in Karnataka are likely to support the government's decision, reported The Times of India. The Bharatiya Janata Party has said it will back the Siddaramaiah government’s decision. Janata Dal (Secular) chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has also spoken in favour of Siddaramaiah. All India Congress Committee General Secretary Digvijay Singh said, “The Karnataka assembly's recent decision to release water only for drinking represents the will of the people. The unanimous resolution of the assembly supported by all political parties also reflects the sentiment of the people of Karnataka."
The issue blew up on September 5 when the Supreme Court had asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu, but it later reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs. The court verdict had led to widespread protests carried out by farmers in Karnataka.
On September 20, the court arrived at a new figure – 6,000 cusecs – but the Karnataka government refused to comply with the order. On September 26, the Karnataka government filed a petition in the court seeking a modification to its order from September 20. Meanwhile, the state's legislature passed a resolution on September 23 saying said they cannot release water from the river for anything but drinking water purposes in Bengaluru and other towns and villages that fall in the Cauvery basin.