EC directive to Union Water Resources Ministry

The Election Commission has directed the Union Water Resources Ministry to defer constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) till May 5, the scheduled date for Assembly poll in Karnataka.

The Election Commission direction came in response to a letter written by the Ministry seeking its advice on the constitution of the CMB and the CWRC. The Water Resources Ministry said it was actively considering to establish the CMB and the CWRC in consultation with the Law and Justice Ministry. The view of the Law Ministry was awaited.

“The constitution of the CMB and the CWRC may not be a violation of the model code of conduct, as it would be an implementation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s order. However, the issue is highly sensitive politically and considering the emotions attached to the issue by the respective States (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry) involved it is opined that the constitution of the CMB and the CWRC may be utilised by political parties leading to undue political advantage as well as causing hatred among the communities,” said the Water Resources Ministry in its letter to the Election Commission.

In another order, the Commission said it had no objection to Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge from issuing May Day message, except in Karnataka, and subject to the condition that the message is not printed in newspapers of the adjoining States having circulation in Karnataka and not broadcast on Kannada TV channels anywhere or on TV channels uplinked from the bordering States.