BENGALURU: When 88-year-old former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda rose to speak in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, he raised the issue of drinking water for Bengaluru and made an emotional appeal, hands folded and voice quivering. “We are beggars,” he said.
“The people of Bengaluru have been denied a share of drinking water from the Cauvery river. I am only speaking about the drinking water issue, I know the whole issue of the Cauvery and can speak volumes but I am not going to raise it here now.”
Gowda, former chief minister of Karnataka, is among the most respected authorities on water in Karnataka. At this, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu firmly gestured to him to sit down. Naidu, who sensed that Gowda would raise controversial issues, started cutting him short and repeatedly said, “Okay, Okay,’’ before asking the next speaker to start.
Even when Gowda rose to speak, Naidu said, “You will express concern about drinking water, that is all, and will not raise any controversy.’’ Gowda, who beat his breast emotionally, said 1.3 crore people of Bengaluru have a drinking water problem.