Despite his preoccupation with the political crisis triggered by the Trinamool Congress' decision to pull out from his government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday sought to play mediator between Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa and her Karnataka counterpart Jagdish Shettar over sharing of the Cauvery waters.
Singh was presiding over the Cauvery River Authority, which met after 9 years at Tamil Nadu's request to press its demand for the release of water.
Puducherry chief minister N Rangasamy and Kerala water resources minister PJ Joseph were also present.
After hearing Jayalalithaa and Shetter, Singh ruled that Karnataka must release 9,000 cusecs of water every day for 25 days from September 20 till October 15 after the state refused to accept Tamil Nadu's demand for 2 tmcft water for 24 days. But Shettar conveyed a firm 'no' to the PM and walked out of the meeting.
An irked Jayalalithaa declared later that Tamil Nadu would move the Supreme Court. Shettar said Karnataka was in no position to release any water to Tamil Nadu as it was reeling under a drought and its reservoirs did not have adequate water for its own farmers.
Jayalalithaa, who refrained from any comment on the UPA's political crisis in view of the Cauvery issue, said Karnataka was “adamant” in its stand by maintaining it would not release even a drop of water to Tamil Nadu .
“The PM ruled that 9, 000 cusecs of water be released to Tamil Nadu from September 20 to October 15. This was
not acceptable to Karnataka. I also registered my protest,” she said.
Shettar said Karnataka
had indicated that it would demand a new formula to share Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu and other states when the monsoon fails.