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Ambareesh quits over Cauvery issue

The actor-turned-politician resigns as minister of state for I&B to protest a court ruling over Cauvery dispute.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2007 13:51 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Actor-turned-politician Ambareesh has announced his resignation from the Cabinet and Parliament to protest a court verdict over the sharing of Cauvery waters.

Ambareesh stepped down as minister of state for information and broadcasting and a member of the Lok Sabha.

The star of scores of movies has served three times as MP for Mandya in Karnataka, where protests have flared over a court decision last week to award a greater share of Cauvery river waters to neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

"I'm not interested in power," Ambareesh told reporters in Bangalore on Wednesday. "Let me do my bit for the benefit of farmers in the Cauvery basin region of Karnataka."

Ambareesh's resignation was expected to boost a campaign launched by Karnataka's farmers against the court ruling, which sparked a general strike on Monday in Bangalore.

It is the second time Ambareesh has resigned over the Cauvery issue. In October 2002 he wrote to Sonia Gandhi, whose Congress party was then ruling Karnataka, protesting against the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

But Sonia did not forward Ambareesh's resignation as an MP to the speaker, forcing him to remain in parliament. This time he said he had sent his resignation to the speaker as well as to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia.