The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre to direct the government of Karnataka to release Cauvery water as per the order of the Cauvery Water Management Authority.
This resolution, moved by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, was supported by all political parties except the BJP whose MLAs staged a walkout. A heated debate took place between Opposition leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami and DMK’s Treasury benches, but the AIADMK supported the resolution.
“Karnataka hasn’t released the due share of water to Tamil Nadu this month. In June, Tamil Nadu received only 2.28tmc of water instead of 9.19tmc at Biligundalu,” said Stalin. The TN CM further added that Karnataka had created an “artificial crisis” and not released the water as per the SC’s order. Edappadi K. Palaniswami spoke about the measures AIADMK had taken during their regime on the Cauvery issue and said pressure must be mounted on the Centre.
The BJP walked out of the Assembly as the resolution did not include the amendments it demanded. Speaking to the media later, BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan said, “Chief Minister Stalin has been visiting Karnataka for alliance meetings. However, using his alliance strength, friendly rapport and influence with the alliance (party) government in Karnataka, Stalin has not been able to bring Cauvery water to the state.”
The saffron party demanded amendments to be added to the resolution, including nationalisation of rivers and support to the Centre’s Dam Safety Bill. The BJP also called out DMK’s “double standards”. Vanathi Srinivasan stated when the Dam Safety Bill had been tabled in Parliament, DMK members had opposed the move stating that the Centre should not interfere in State rights. “Today, a resolution has been passed urging the Centre’s intervention to release Cauvery water. This shows the DMK’s double standards,” she added.
Prior to the resolution, Stalin had appealed to Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, seeking the Centre’s intervention in ensuring that Karnataka released Cauvery water as per the 2018 Supreme Court order.
Karnataka has been citing water deficit due to drought and delayed releasing water which escalated the crisis between the two states. On 5 October, Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar stated that inflows into the Cauvery were decreasing and the state had filed a petition to the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), seeking a review of its order on the release of water to Tamil Nadu.