Jagadish Shettar
Chief Minister Shettar said that the opening up of dams for Tamil Nadu was "inevitable". Jagadish Shettar website

Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Monday directed the officials in-charge of Krishna Raja Sagar dam to stop further release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu after the Supreme Court deferred the hearing of a review petition filed by the state.  

Passing the buck back to the Central government, the top court sought deferment of the hearing until the prime minister-headed Cauvery River Authority (CRA) takes a final call on the water dispute. Following the apex court order, Shettar instructed the state authorities to immediately shut the dams for Tamil Nadu.

Shettar's decision to stop flow of Cauvery to the southern state would put a temporary lid on the ongoing protests in the state for a while.

Arch-rivals, Congress and BJP leaders in Karnataka, shelved their differences and sought to persuade Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to rule in favour of the state. However, their attempts seemed futile with the PM reportedly saying that "there is no mechanism under the CRA that allowed it to recant its award."

The Congress and BJP delegations met Manmohan in the national capital on Monday.

Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna also wrote a letter to Manmohan urging him to immediately stop the flow of water to Tamil Nadu or the situation will worsen in Karnataka.

Earlier, the CRA committee ordered the Karnataka government to make sure that about 9,000 cusecs of water will flow down to Tamil Nadu. Initially, the Shettar-regime showed reluctantance in complying with the order but opened up the dams to avoid any legal troubles.

Since then, the state of Karnataka has witnessed a string of protests and rallies by activists and farmer groups.