Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will meet Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti today over the ongoing dispute over water sharing between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Mr Siddaramaiah's government is yet to comply with a Supreme Court order directing it to release more Cauvery river water. A meeting between the two chief ministers and the Ms Bharti had been called by the top court after it expressed displeasure at Karnataka's inaction on its orders, saying that it violates the spirit of federalism and cooperation between states. Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who is in hospital, will be sending a representative to the meeting.
"I will inform Uma Bharti about the ground realities. We don't want to disrespect the judicial order, but since we have no water, this is a resolution taken by the state legislature. Going by the suggestions of the all-party meeting, and our resolution, we are deferring release of water to Tamil Nadu," Mr Siddaramaiah had said on Wednesday. He said that the decision to defer release of water had been taken after discussions with leaders of different parties, in which a resolution was passed to use the current Cauvery water for drinking purposes only, and not for anything else.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, in a statement, said the centre must step-in and ensure that Karnataka complied with the Supreme Court order on water sharing, accusing the state government of allowing criminal elements to take over protests in the state. On Tuesday the court had directed the Karnataka government to release 6000 cusecs of water till Friday. The court had also directed Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to facilitate a meeting between the chief ministers of the two states and find a more lasting solution to the water sharing dispute.