Bangalore, Oct 9: Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar Tuesday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not meet him over the Cauvery water row despite his attempts to meet him since Monday afternoon.
“I wanted to personally request the prime minister for an early hearing of our plea (to stay his directive to the state to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu). I tried for an appointment since yesterday afternoon but did not get it,” he told reporters here late Tuesday on his return from New Delhi.
Karnataka late Monday stopped releasing water to Tamil Nadu on the ground that its reservoirs across Cauvery river did not have adequate water.
The decision has angered Tamil Nadu, whose Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced in Chennai Tuesday that a contempt of court petition against Karnataka would be filed in the Supreme Court.
Karnataka was releasing 9,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from Sep 29 after the Supreme Court rapped it Sep 28 for not obeying the prime minister’s Sep 19 directive. The prime minister, as head of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) had asked Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu from Sep 20 to Oct 15.
The state has been appealing to the prime minister to stay his Sep 19 directive saying the state has been hit by the worst drought in 40 years and water in the Cauvery reservoirs were just adequate to meet the state’s needs till monsoon returns next June.
Shettar said his government would continue to press the prime minister for early decision on its plea.
Meanwhile state Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar was confident that the state’s decision to stop water release would not amount to contempt of court.
He told reporters in New Delhi that water release was stopped only after informing the apex court Monday that the state was in no position to continue it.
His comments came before the Tamil Nadu announced its intention to haul the state before the apex court for contempt.