Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar on Saturday appealed to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa not to politicise the row over sharing the Cauvery waters.

At a meeting of teachers organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party here ahead of the election to the Legislative Council from the Bangalore Teachers constituency, Mr. Kumar took exception to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister pressuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi to constitute the Cauvery Management Board though appeals against the final verdict of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal were pending in the Supreme Court. “She is making repeated efforts to get the board constituted,” he said.

Setting up the board at the present juncture may affect the availability of drinking water for Bangalore and the ongoing drinking water supply projects in the Cauvery basin, Mr. Kumar feared. He maintained that there was no hurry for Tamil Nadu to pressure the Prime Minister to set up the board as the Supreme Court would look into all such issues.

He said BJP MPs from Karnataka had told the Prime Minister that it would not be proper to constitute the board when the issue was being looked into by the court. He assured people of protecting the State’s interests with respect to the Cauvery issue.

Uniform pay

Mr. Kumar assured teachers of taking up with the Central authorities the demand for bringing about parity in the salary of teachers of both Central and State government schools.

Seeking their support for BJP candidate Neelaiah, Mr. Kumar stressed the need for a uniform salary system for teachers in both the Central and State government schools.

He said he would also strive for getting a free health check-up scheme for teachers implemented through the Union government.

‘Board not needed’

Tumkur Staff Correspondent writes:

Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said on Saturday that there was no need to set up the board. After campaigning for BJP’s candidate for the Legislative Council election from the Southeast Graduates constituency A.H. Shivayogi Swamy, Mr. Gowda said Chief Ministers writing to the Prime Minister in the interest of their State was quite common, and similarly Ms. Jayalalithaa had written to Mr. Modi.

“MPs elected from Karnataka are committed to protecting the interests of the State in the Cauvery issue,” he said.

Railway projects

The former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should ensure that his government bears 50 per cent cost of railway projects in the State and also provides land for them. Any delay in releasing the State’s share of funds for railway projects by Mr. Siddaramaiah would be akin to cheating people, he said.

The former MP G.S. Basavaraj, State secretary of the BJP M.B. Nandish and party leaders B.C. Nagesh and B. Suresh Gowda were among those present.