Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy met with actor-turned Tamil Nadu politician Kamal Haasan in state capital Bengaluru on Monday to discuss sharing of Cauvery river water between their two states. Haasan is the leader of the Makkal Needhi Maiam party.
The dispute about how the waters of the Cauvery should be shared between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the Union territory of Puducherry has been underway for 22 years.
During an interaction with reporters following the meeting, Kumaraswamy said Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should maintain a cordial relationship and solve the problem through talks. “Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu farmers are important,” The News Minute quoted him as saying.
Haasan, in response to Kumaraswamy’s comments, said both the states are sharing Cauvery water. “There are no two ways about it”, he said, adding that Kumaraswamy was looking at the matter in the “same way”, according to The Indian Express.
He further said that the dispute needs to be resolved by the people of both the states. “[The] court should be last resort,” he said. “If people of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka come together, I see hope in the conversation I had with him [Kumaraswamy]. The way forward is for people to have the mindset to go forward.”
Haasan also said that he came to Bengaluru on behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu and to act as a “bridge between the two states”, reported The Hindu.
When asked about the ban in Karnataka on the Tamil film Kaala, which stars actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth, Haasan said the meeting was not about films and that there was a film chamber to look into the matter. “This [Cauvery issue] is more important,” said Haasan.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce on May 29 decided to ban the release of Kaala after several local organisations were upset with actor Rajinikanth’s comments on the sharing of the Cauvery’s water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The Centre on Friday notified the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Authority in compliance with a Supreme Court order on a water dispute involving Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The Centre submitted the draft scheme on sharing of Cauvery water on May 14 after several delays that prompted the court to issue warnings. In February, the court asked the Centre to set up the management board by March 29, and later extended the deadline to May 3.