The Karnataka government on Saturday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its order from the previous day that asked the state to set up a Cauvery Water Management Board by October 4 to study the ground reality in both states and diffuse the ongoing tension over sharing the river's water. The counsel for Karnataka argued that the court's order violates the National Water Policy of 2012, which allows Karnataka to prioritise the use of Cauvery water for its own drinking water purposes.
The court had asked Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry to submit names of their representatives for the board by 4 pm on Saturday. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti was to head the panel. However, in its review petition, Karnataka said the court's direction to form the board amounted to "judicial legislation", The Hindu reported.
Earlier in the day, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (Secular) had backed the Congress government in Karnataka in its decision not to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, which the Supreme Court had ordered. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had convened an all-party meet to discuss the issue, ANI reported.
Hours before the all-party meet, former prime minister and JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda had begun an indefinite hunger strike on Saturday in Bengaluru to protest against the latest Supreme Court order to Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Gowda dubbed the Supreme Court order a "death warrant" for Karnataka and demanded that the same team of experts be sent to both states to study the availability of water.
Siddaramaiah has urged the Centre to play a "greater and more proactive" role to resolve the interstate water-sharing dispute. During the ongoing crisis, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was admitted to a private hospital for what her party said was a minor illness.
On Friday, the apex court rebuked Karnataka for deferring the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and directed it to release 6,000 cusecs of water between October 1 and October 6.
The Cauvery issue escalated after the Supreme Court, on September 5, directed Karnataka to release 15,000 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, who had argued that the state needed the water more that its neighbour.