Chief Minister offers ‘bagina’ to the Cauvery and the Kapila rivers
MYSORE: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has said that it is the responsibility of the Union Government to resolve the Cauvery dispute in the larger interests of the farmers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, despite the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal having given its final verdict.
He was addressing a large gathering of farmers from Mandya district here on Friday after offering ‘bagina’ to the Cauvery, a traditional ceremony when the Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir in Srirangapatna taluk reaches its full reservoir level. Mr. Kumaraswamy, who arrived four hours behind schedule, said he was keen on resolving the dispute amicably by holding a dialogue with his counterpart in Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi.
“I invited Mr. Karunanidhi for talks on four or five occasions, but he has not responded to my invitation. Now that Mother Nature has blessed the land with bountiful rainfall, the dam is full and there won’t be any tussle over sharing water,” he said.
Mr. Kumaraswamy said farmers of both the States were like brothers and there should be a harmonious relationship between the two neighbouring States. “I do not think politicians can solve the problems of farmers. Only nature’s blessings will bring happiness to them.”
He thanked the farmers of Mandya, Mysore and Tumkur districts for staging peaceful agitations against the tribunal verdict without breaking the law and expressed confidence that they would get justice with regard to the of sharing of Cauvery waters. “I can understand your pain and apprehension over the verdict. But the Government is with you and will strive to provide justice,” he said.
Minister for Water Resources K.S. Eshwarappa and Minister for Transport N. Cheluvarayaswamy spoke.
Before coming to the dam, the Chief Minister received a memorandum from farmers who were staging a dharna at the gate under the leadership of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha president K S Puttanaiah demanding that various demands, including a remunerative price for sugarcane, be conceded.
Mr. Kumaraswamy, accompanied by his wife, Anita, offered ‘bagina’ to the Cauvery, which was scheduled at 12.30 p.m., at 4.30 p.m. He also performed puja to the idol of the goddess Cauvery.
According to one of the priests who conducted the ceremony, this was the first time since the tradition began that ‘bagina’ was offered to the river in the evening.
The Chief Minister, who came by road to the reservoir from Bangalore, left for Beechanahalli in H.D. Kote taluk in a helicopter and offered ‘bagina’ to Kapila at the Kabini dam.
The KRS has reached its FRL of 124.80 ft and the Kabini its FRL of 2,284 ft.
Actor-turned-politician Ambareesh, MLAs and prominent politicians of Mandya district were present on the occasion.