A special session of the Karnataka legislature on Friday made it clear that the state would not be releasing the 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery River water to Tamil Nadu as ordered by the Supreme Court.
The legislative council and assembly saw rare unity with all political parties coming together to pass the resolution.
But the state insists this is not defiance of the top court. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said in the Assembly that he had great respect for the court – had worked as a lawyer himself – but the state needed drinking water.
The resolutions passed by legislature said, “It is now resolved to direct ….that the government sees that no water is drawn from current storage…except to meet drinking water requirements of the villages and towns of the Cauvery basin and the city of Bengaluru.”
The state had been careful to say earlier that it was deferring the release until this special one day session.
And even now – the elected representatives insist this is not defiance of the court.
Although main opposition party BJP boycotted the all party meeting called on Wednesday to discuss the issue, today they supported the government. BJP’s Suresh Kumar told NDTV, “Nobody has more respect for the Supreme Court than us. But if an order cannot be implemented it is not defiance.”
Legislator K S Puttanaiah said, “We respect the Court. We released water twice. But now it is impossible.”
Back in 2002, the then chief minister, S M Krishna had defied the Supreme Court and even went on a padayatra from Bengaluru to Mysuru. He later apologised to the court and released the water.