Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Chief Minister, S.M.Krishna, received endorsement for his stand on releasing Cauvery waters at a meeting with MPs from the State here today. Among those who attended the meeting were two former chief ministers, S.R.Bommai and S.Bangarappa, and the Union Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies, and Public Distribution, V.Srinivas Prasad.
Mr. Krishna, who has been served with a notice of contempt of court by the Supreme Court, reportedly told the meeting that water could not be released to Tamil Nadu as it was required for the standing crops in the State and to meet the drinking water needs of towns and cities.
In a hard-hitting speech, Mr. Krishna is said to have told the meeting that the Government would not bow to any pressure. He was critical of the requests from the Union Minister for Water Resources, Arjun Charan Sethi, to release 0.8 tmcft. of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu daily as directed by the Cauvery River Authority on September 8 despite the difficult situation facing the State.
He would bring to the notice of the Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee, whom he would be meeting on September 30, Mr. Sethi's pleas.
He briefed the meeting about the steps taken to fight the contempt of court proceedings initiated against him and four others in the Supreme Court by his Tamil Nadu counterpart, J.Jayalalithaa.
Briefing presspersons on behalf of the MPs, Mr. Bangarappa said they decided to support the agitation by farmers in Mandya and Mysore districts on the Cauvery issue.
However, the agitation should be peaceful. Any release of water to Tamil Nadu now would not be received kindly by farmers in the Cauvery Basin.
The meeting was critical of the attitude of Ms. Jayalalithaa and criticised her for walking out of the meeting of the CRA and Tamil Nadu's boycott of the meetings of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee.
Mr. Bangarappa too is said to have been critical of Mr. Sethi and called his actions in attempting to force Karnataka to release water unilateral. If he did not mend his ways, the Prime Minister should admonish him.
Mr. Bangarappa was the Chief Minister when the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal passed its interim award in June 1991.
His Government had sponsored a bandh on December 13, 1991 when the Centre published the interim award in the Union Gazette.
Mr. Bommai is said to have praised the handling of the issue by the Chief Minister and called it wise and in the interests of the State.
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