Karnataka Opposition Accuses Congress of Betrayal Over Cauvery Water Release to Tamil Nadu
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] in Karnataka have harshly condemned the state’s ruling Congress government for its decision to give Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu amid a highly volatile political dispute. Described as a political ploy to appease an electoral alliance, the action has provoked claims of betrayal and contempt for the state’s farmers and residents.
Karnataka’s decision to transfer water to its neighbouring state, Tamil Nadu, has changed the course of the long-running Cauvery River water conflict. Opposition politicians are outraged by this decision and assert that it was made for political reasons rather than for the benefit of the people of Karnataka.
Former chief minister and BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai expressed his concern over politics taking precedence over state interests. Bommai noted that the choice was made at the same time when the Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the party in power in Tamil Nadu, formed the “INDIA” coalition. He claimed the Congress administration was utilising the water release to fortify the alliance before the 2018 Lok Sabha elections.
H D Kumaraswamy, a former chief minister and JD(S) leader added his voice to the criticism, charging the Congress administration with failing to consult with the opposition and the Karnataka people on such a crucial choice. In his view, the supply of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu was a betrayal of the state’s people, especially its farmers.
Tamil Nadu’s petition to the Supreme Court asking to release 24,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily to support standing crops spurred the Karnataka government’s decision to release water. D K Shivakumar, the deputy chief minister and minister of water resources for Karnataka, responded by announcing that his state would provide 10 billion cubic feet of water to Tamil Nadu. However, he stressed the state’s water difficulties due to a weak monsoon.
The government’s justification was contested by opposition politicians, who charged that the Congress administration was putting Tamil Nadu’s ruling party’s interests ahead of Karnataka’s residents. They requested that the water flow be stopped immediately and charged Congress with failing to defend the people of the state’s rights and means of subsistence.
Basavaraj Bommai, a former chief minister, condemned the administration for failing to appropriately protect Karnataka’s interests in the Cauvery River water issue. He contended that the state’s officials should have objected to Tamil Nadu’s excessive water use because it had greatly exceeded the allotted amount for its crops.
Both opposition leaders emphasised the significance of following the distress formula for allocating water from the Cauvery River and demanded an all-party meeting to discuss the matter. They urged the government to put the welfare of the people and farmers of Karnataka ahead of political considerations.
The Karnataka Congress government is under great scrutiny as the issue grows over its decision-making process and purported failure to defend the state’s interests in the Cauvery River water conflict. A ferocious debate has been sparked by the allegations of treachery and political opportunism, underscoring the precarious balance between political allegiances and the populace’s well-being.