BENGALURU: The state government, which is facing a backlash over the release of Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu, added to the confusion by revealing that senior counsel Fali Nariman had not consulted the government on the offer to release 10,000 cusecs of water over six days.
Speaking to media after the Congress State Coordination Committee meeting on Thursday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that Nariman had not consulted them about submitting to the Supreme Court about the goodwill gesture of releasing some water. “Nariman did not consult us, but neither had he consulted the Jagadish Shettar government when they offered to release water,” he said. After the Supreme Court ordered the daily release of 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water for 10 days, the state government has come under attack from the Opposition parties who say the offer of 10,000 cusecs per day for six days had weakened the state’s case.
The CM, however, said that such an offer was made during Shettar’s tenure as CM too. “In 1995, Deve Gowda was CM, then during S M Krishna’s and Shettar’s time too water was released,” he said. He admitted that it was evident that the Supreme Court was leaning towards release of water after the September 2 hearing where the court advised Karnataka to “live and let live”. Siddaramaiah, along with Water Resources Minister M B Patil and Rural and Panchayat Raj Minister H K Patil, met Nariman in Delhi just before the September 5 hearing to discuss the strategy of presenting the ground realities in court.
Despite this, the CM, who is also facing criticism over the continuation of Nariman as lead counsel on Cauvery issue, defended the jurist saying he had represented the interests of Karnataka for the last 32 years. The CM said Nariman took the decision after getting a thorough briefing on the water situation in the Cauvery basin.