‘Delete sentence in his address
The Opposition, led by the Janata Dal (Secular), on Tuesday, took exception to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s reference to the Cauvery award in his address on Monday to the joint session of the legislature. They demanded deletion of the reference from his speech.
Leader of the Opposition H.D. Kumaraswamy, who had given notice to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa, suggested an amendment to the Governor’s address under Rule 21 of the House, and asked that the reference be deleted before moving the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address.
The Governor, in his speech, had said: “The long-pending extension, renovation and modernisation projects of the Cauvery basin will be taken up for approval of the Government of India, in conformity with the Cauvery Award.”
Mr. Kumaraswamy said the government’s decision to take up modernisation of projects in the basin after the Centre’s approval and in conformity with the Cauvery Award would cause severe hardship to both residents of Bangalore as well a large number of farmers in the basin districts. The government has filed petitions before the Supreme Court and Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal challenging the final award.
The government’s decision to implement modernisation projects in conformity with the Cauvery Award would give Tamil Nadu more edge in the Supreme Court and in the CWDT to defend its case. As modernisation works had already been taken up, what was the necessity for the State government to take the Centre’s approval, he asked.
BJP floor leader and the former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, the former Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai also slammed the government and said the Governor’s speech clearly indicated acceptance of the award by the government. They demanded immediate deletion of the sentence from the speech to safeguard the State’s interest.
The former Chief Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa alleged that the State had surrendered to Tamil Nadu on sharing of the Cauvery waters and urged the government to correct the “mistake” in the speech. He appealed to the Speaker to adjourn the House for a few minutes to hold discussions with the Advocate-General to understand the implications in the apex court and the CWDT.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said he would give a satisfactory answer while replying to the Governor’s address. Law and Parliamentary Minister T.B. Jayachandra requested members to raise the Cauvery issue while speaking on the Governor’s address.
When the government declined to heed the demands of the Opposition, Mr. Kumaraswamy agreed to discuss the issue during the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address.