Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said that the central government needed to play a "greater and more proactive" role in resolving interstate water-sharing disputes. "I believe the Centre has a much greater and proactive role to play in resolving such disputes. Otherwise, situations like the one we are faced with will continue, and people will suffer," he said, according to The Indian Express.

Siddaramaiah, however, clarified that he did not want to deny Tamil Nadu water from the Cauvery river, but he did not want to deprive the people of his state of drinking water. "We have always released water...But we do not have any water [in our reservoirs] to release at this time. The fact is that there has not been enough rain in the catchment areas this year, and that is not hidden from anyone," he explained.

While the chief minister believes the tension with Tamil Nadu will diffuse once it receives the north-east monsoon, he said a separate national policy exclusively to tackle interstate and water-sharing disputes was required, or such disputes are likely to recur. Siddaramaiah has called for an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss the matter.

His statement followed the Supreme Court's new direction to the state to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from October 1 to October 6. The top court, displeased about Karnataka deferring the release of water from the river to Tamil Nadu, warned the state of facing the "wrath of law" if it defies the order again. The apex court also directed the central government to establish a Cauvery Water Management Board by October 4 to study the ground reality in both states.

The issue escalated after the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release15,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu. It later modified its verdict and reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs, but the order had led to widespread protests by farmers in Karnataka. They had argued that the state needed the water more that its neighbour.

Tamil Nadu had also held a bandh on September 16, with farmers' and traders' bodies saying Tamilians had been targeted by Kannadiga protestors. Karnataka had also decided to defer releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, giving priority to the interests of state's people.