Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would undertake the ‘Cauvery Rakshana Yatra’ to protest the Congress-led state government’s decision to release the water of Cauvery river to the neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The Yatra would be organised in the state’s Cauvery basin taluks.
Addressing a press conference after attending a meeting in which former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa also participated, Bommai said the state government has failed to protect the interests of the state on the Cauvery issue.
Along with the Padayatra, the party will also stage dharna. The next course of action would be decided after September 21, Bommai said.
“We have not released even 30 per cent of water to our farmers. On the other hand, the Tamil Nadu farmers are growing the second crop,” he said.
“Our government miserably failed to make an impressive argument before the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA). By sacrificing the interests of our farmers, the state government released water for the second crop in Tamil Nadu. The Karnataka government failed to convince the Supreme Court about the prevailing situation in the Cauvery basin. We released water and got into trouble. The state government is in defensive posture. Ultimately, the Congress government sacrificed our interests.
“This government did not have the commitment and morality to protect the rights of Karnataka over the Cauvery water,” he added.
The former CM asked the state government to put forth the ground reality in the Cauvery basin before the apex court and the CWMA.
Bommai said since the crops in the Cauvery basin have withered following the non-release of the water in the right time in the Cauvery basin, the state government must pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 per acre to every farmer in the region.
“At any cost, water must not be released to Tamil Nadu,” he added.
The former CM also sought to know the need to drag the Central government in the Cauvery water sharing row and charged the state government of trying to bring the Central government in this dispute.
“The state government must write to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, and not to the Union government. Since the DMK is one of the allies of the INDIA bloc, the state must write Stalin,” he said.