deve gowda
deve gowdaIANS

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in Bengaluru on Saturday. Gowda, the Janata Dal (Secular) supremo, has begun an indefinite hunger strike to protest against the Supreme Court's verdict on the Cauvery water dispute.

"(This is the) sixth time such order has been passed. Former PM's hunger strike is (an) act of solidarity. He says this is (the) ultimate step," Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara told reporters.

The apex court on Friday ruled that the Karnataka government would have to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu for six days. It also slammed the state government for not abiding by the earlier order to release water to its neighbouring state, saying that Karnataka has dented the majesty of law. The SC also issued a directive to form a Cauvery management board to resolve the issue.

Karnataka defied SC order to release water to Tamil Nadu for the second time on Wednesday saying that the state is running out of water. The government also declared that 68 taluks in the state were hit by drought.

The state government had moved court earlier this week requesting for a modification of the SC order to release 6000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu saying that Karnataka was not in a position to release water before December. But the Court dismissed the petition and asked the government to release water for three days starting Wednesday. However, the government did not abide by the order because its reservoirs were running dry and it needed to supply drinking water to its cities.

The dispute has resulted in violence across the state. The police had also imposed Section 144 in the city of Bengaluru due to violent protests.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has called for a fresh all-party meet over the Cauvery river dispute.