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Cauvery: State ready for talks

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S. Rajendran

Kumaraswamy appeals to Karunanidhi for a `give and take policy'

Bangalore: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has expressed his willingness to talk to his Tamil Nadu counterpart, M. Karunanidhi, to sort out the Cauvery dispute.

Mr. Kumaraswamy told The Hindu here on Tuesday that he was happy with the observations made by a Bench of the Supreme Court on Monday. "I am ready, and it is for the (Tamil Nadu) Chief Minister and elder statesman, Mr. Karunanidhi, to invite the Karnataka team and me for a discussion."

Sources close to Mr. Kumaraswamy said the State Government was open to discussions, notwithstanding the petitions filed before the Supreme Court and the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, provided the Tamil Nadu Government reciprocated. Should there be an invitation from Tamil Nadu, Mr. Kumaraswamy would hold discussions with leaders of all political parties here before deciding on the next course of action. "Mr. Kumaraswamy is even ready to take an all-party delegation to Chennai and, if required, even discuss the matter with AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa," the sources said.

The statement by Mr. Karunanidhi, soon after he exchanged Ugadi greetings with Mr. Kumaraswamy, has not dampened the latter's keenness for a dialogue. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had stated that from his experience with meeting many Chief Ministers of Karnataka on the Cauvery dispute, bilateral talks would not yield results.

Karnataka filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court on Monday in which it questioned the validity of the orders of the Tribunal.

Mr. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday appealed to Mr. Karunanidhi to "follow a policy of give and take". He said that once the two States made some headway in talks they could "involve the other riparian States, political leaders and the representatives of farmers' associations of the two States."

Parallel effort

Mr. Kumaraswamy said the review petition before the Tribunal and the two petitions before the Supreme Court would not be withdrawn. Bilateral discussions with Tamil Nadu, if they took place, would only be a parallel effort in finding a lasting solution.

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