Karnataka today sought legal opinion on the future course of action following Supreme Court directions to the state to release 2.44 tmc ft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu even as the order evoked protest in the Karnataka Assembly.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, accompanied by state Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai today held consultations with the state's counsel Fali S Nariman at the latter's residence in Delhi to discuss the fallout of the SC order and steps the state should take now.
Shettar refused to comment on the contentious issue after his meeting with
Nariman, saying the state assembly is in session. The Chief Minister said he was leaving for Bangalore later at night, where he will present the state budget tomorrow.
In the state assembly today, agitated Congress and JD-S urged the government against the release of water, as Chief Minister Shettar told the House that he and Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai will consult the state's lawyers appearing in the case before deciding future course of action.
Shettar said the apex court's direction to Karnataka to release water forthwith is a matter of concern for farmers living in Cauvery basin and people of the state at large.
He said the government would take strong steps to protect the interests of farmers in Cauvery basin.
The chief minister rejected Congress leader Siddaramaiah's demand for change of lawyers appearing for Karnataka on Cauvery issue and said the advocates have been placing all the facts on the existing situation including on drinking water problem and drought conditions.
"In spite of this, the SC has given instructions to release water to Tamil Nadu," he said.
Bommai said the government is not in a hurry to release Cauvery water to Tamil
Nadu. "We will consult our lawyers before taking any legal step in the matter," he said.
Siddaramaiah and JD-S leader H D Revanna demanded that the government not release water. JD-S members staged dharna for a brief spell urging that no water should be released.
'Cauvery Hitarakshana Samithi' President G Madegowda too demanded that the state not release water to Tamil
Meanwhile, Karnataka Janata Party President B S Yeddyurappa launched his Mysore-Bangalore Padayatra and demanded that BJP should be ready to sacrifice power to protect the interest of the state on Cauvery issue.
Karnataka government was today directed by the Supreme Court to immediately release 2.44 TMC feet Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu whose plea for 12 TMC ft of water was refused.
A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha, which three days back had allowed release of 2 TMC ft water, increased by 0.44 TMC ft the amount of water to be provided to Tamil Nadu on the recommendation of the Central Water Commission.
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