The Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu has once again hit the headlines as TN has demanded the Centre for the constitution of a Cauvery Managment Board (CMB) for the release of the river water, while Karnataka has expressed its opposition to the plan.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the union ministers from the state have strongly responded to the plea TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa made to the Centre.
Siddaramaiah says the constitution of CMB will adversely affect the interests of his state. The Karnataka CM said he would convene a meeting of leaders of the state legislature on 9 June to discuss TN's demand for CMB. On the same day, Union ministers and MPs are also slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and advocate for their state's interests on the issue.
Siddaramaiah has also stated that he has sought an appointment with Modi for a meeting with an all-party delegation on the issue on 10 June. The Karnataka CM said that the Cauvery Monitoring Committee has been monitoring release of Cauvery water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, Union chemicals and fertilizers minister Ananth Kumar on Saturday said that the Centre has no proposal to constitute the CMB, labelling the news as mere speculation. The minister stated that he has spoken to Union water resource minister Uma Bharti and she informed him that there is no such proposal at the Ministry of Water Resources.
According to Kumar, last week Siddaramaiah had met him and Union ministers from Karnataka - DV Sadananda Gowda (railway minister), GM Siddeshwara (MoS civil aviation) - and all the state MPs in this regard. And the ministers and MPs asserted to the Chief Minister that they are committed to the interests of Karnataka people on the Cauvery issue.
The Union ministers from Karnataka and the MPs have also planned to meet Modi after 9 June, to represent the state's version on the issue.
Jayalalithaa had strongly insisted for setting up of CMB when she met Modi last week. But Karnataka is arguing that the Centre should not set up CMB as civil appeals against the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal by riparians Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are pending in the Supreme Court.