Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Tuesday flayed the Congress government in the state for alleged detention of farmers and Kannada activists participating in the ‘bandh’ here to protest the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
The protesters and farmers should be released immediately, he said, adding Cauvery water flow to Tamil Nadu should be stopped.
”What a surprise it is? On the one hand, those (Congress leaders) who (earlier) marched for Mekedatu (balancing reservoir project over river Cauvery) have arrested farmers and activists who were fighting for Cauvery river in the streets today,” the Janata Dal (Secular) leader said.
”Arresting the protesters overnight is the height of mischief by the Congress government in Karnataka,” he added.
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”Is there one justice for Congressmen and another justice for Kannadigas in Karnataka? If the Congress leaders can go on a Mekedatu padayatra in violation of the Covid rules, shouldn’t the Kannadigas protest for the lifeline of Karnataka, Cauvery?” Kumaraswamy asked. ”Is this the government of Kannadigas or a proxy government of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin? Who did Kannadigas vote for?” Kumaraswamy charged that the ongoing Cauvery ”crisis” was the result of the Congress party becoming the DMK’s ‘B’ team. The Supreme Court declined to interfere with the order of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), directing Karnataka to release 5000 cusecs (cubic feet of water per second) until September 27.
Karnataka has been complying with the order amid pressure and protests from political parties, farmers’ outfits and other organisations. According to Karnataka officials, due to the failure of the south-west monsoon (from June to September) this year, there is no sufficient storage in the identified/ designated four reservoirs of Cauvery basin in Karnataka and the state is facing such a grave situation that it is finding it extremely difficult even to cater to the drinking water requirements let alone supplying for irrigation.
The rainfall received in Karnataka this year in the months of August and September is the lowest in the last 123 years, they said.
The combined storage available as on September 23 in all the four reservoirs of Cauvery basin in Karnataka is only 51.10 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic feet) whereas the requirement for standing crops and for drinking water is of 112 TMC, officials noted.