All the parties in the state are of the opinion that water should not be released at least till Dec 10 when the apex court will next hear the case. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar yesterday met floor leaders of different parties and afterwards announced their decision to "consult legal experts on options available for the government in view of the court order. Based on the experts' opinion, the government will take a stand on the issue."
However, government officials have reportedly told the CM that if he flouts the Supreme Court's directive, there would be grave implications. They said that the court might be angered by Karnataka's defiance and probably pass an adverse order against the state in the future.
In sharp contrast, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah insisted that the government must not release water to Tamil Nadu. Pointing out to newspersons that Karnataka can well file a review petition before the Supreme Court, he stressed, "The government should make its stand clear. We have asked the chief minister not to release water till Thursday."
Yesterday in the state Assembly here, leaders of opposition parties demanded an unanimous resolution against releasing any more Cauvery water to convey the sense of the House. They also expressed concern over the Supreme Court order.
Siddaramaiah warned that "The entire State will turn into a battlefield if water is released" and added that "Whatever be the consequence, the government must inform the apex court about its inability to release water."
HD Revanna of the Janata Dal (Secular) described the court order as a death sentence to farmers in the Cauvery belt. Noting that "The available water is insufficient" for Karnataka's drinking water and irrigation needs, he said that "the farmers will be badly hit" if the state releases water as per the court's directive.
The fears voiced by politicians seemed to be coming true as farmers' organisations called for a bandh in Mandya district today. With the farmers staging a road block, motorists travelling along the Bangalore-Mysore highway experienced much inconvenience last night.
Since hundreds of farmers were planning to lay siege to the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dam today, prohibitory orders have been issued in the areas near the reservoir. More than four people will not be allowed to assemble at the dam site till Dec 9.