With the Cauvery water row expected to dominate the assembly polls in BJP-ruled Karnataka, party President Rajnath Singh on Thursday cautioned the Centre on notifying the Tribunal award and asked it to try to bring Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to the negotiating table to arrive at a consensus.
“The UPA government must tread cautiously on this issue as the decision will have a severe impact on inter-state relations. Before notifying the final award, the Prime Minister should invite the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to sit together and find a consensus,” he told reporters.
Visiting Chennai for the first time after assuming Presidentship, Mr. Singh said the Supreme Court has set the February 20 deadline to notify the final award and water was a “deeply sensitive and political issue” in the country.
Resolution of the issue demanded top priority from the Centre, he said.
Mr. Singh’s remarks assume significance as his party-ruled state is facing the assembly polls in the next few months and political parties in Karnataka are strongly opposing release of water to Tamil Nadu and notification of the Tribunal’s award.
Launching a tirade against the Centre, he said the Congress-led UPA government’s track record on diplomatic and strategic front was not only “lacklustre but also incoherent and inconsistent.”
“On the one hand, we have Pakistan pursuing its anti-India policies and on the other hand there is China encircling India from all directions”, Mr. Singh said.