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All-party meet today; State bandh put off to Monday

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UNEASY CALM: Kannada activists taking out a procession in Rajajinagar in Bangalore on Tuesday even as some of the shops and business establishments remained closed in the area. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
UNEASY CALM: Kannada activists taking out a procession in Rajajinagar in Bangalore on Tuesday even as some of the shops and business establishments remained closed in the area. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

S. Rajendran

Congress in a fix as the DMK is its partner in the UPA Government

  • All the major parties are yet to firm up their stand on the issue
  • Chief Minister holds discussions with senior officials on the future course of action

    BANGALORE: A decision on the proposed action of the State Government to seek remedial measures following what has been described as "deep dissatisfaction" arising out of the orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal has been delayed with the proposed all-party meeting being put off by a day and political parties yet to firm up their stance.

    The main parties in Karnataka the Janata Dal (Secular), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress although dissatisfied with the verdict of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal are yet to firm up their stand even as the people were closely watching the developments and only hoping there will be no law and order problem.

    The Janata Dal (S) and the BJP have decided to abide by the views expressed at the all-party meeting. The Congress in particular is in a tight situation since the DMK (the ruling party in Tamil Nadu) is part of the United Progress Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre.

    The Congress has its limitations in expressing its resentment although the orders of the tribunal have been described as going against the interests of the State.

    The delay in holding the all-party meeting, scheduled on Tuesday, has come as a boon to a few leaders to analyse the tribunal's order and arrive at a conclusion on what should be done next. All the parties were of the view that the interests of the State had been hurt and it was imperative for the State to stand united and seek a remedy. The all-party meeting was put off by a day, a few hours before its scheduled start, following the death of U.T. Fareed, MLA.

    Meanwhile, the "Karnataka bandh" called by the Kannada organisations has been rescheduled for February 12 instead of February 8.

    The Chief Minister reportedly requested the Kannada organisations to postpone the agitation in view of the Aero India 2007 being held here and the difficulties that the "bandh" could cause to the large number of visitors who arrived in the city to attend the programme. Sources in the Government told The Hindu that the options available to the State Government were limited to file an application before the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and seek a review of the order and based on the changes provided in the review order, the Government should exercise the option of moving the Supreme Court. With the Legislature in session, another view was that a resolution should be adopted by the two Houses urging the Centre to refrain from issuing a gazette notification of the tribunal's final order.

    Minister for Home and Law M.P. Prakash told The Hindu that irrespective of the "unfair verdict" to the State, there had not been a single major incident of violence in any of the Cauvery basin districts.

    "The situation is under control and vehicular traffic on the Bangalore-Mysore highway in particular is normal." The Chief Minister on Tuesday held discussions with senior officials of the State Government including the Advocate-General.

    Sources in the Government said the Chief Minister was expected to lead an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Minister for Water Resources Saifuddin Soz.

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