Bengaluru, Sept 22: The Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday decided not to release water to Tamil Nadu immediately while also stating that a special legislative assembly session would be convened on September 23. The special session has been convened to discuss the future course of action in the wake of the Supreme Court directing the release of water to Tamil Nadu.
While there is every indication that the legislature may pass a resolution not to release water which effectively means defying the order of the court, there are other issues that will also be discussed.
The session will discuss if they could postpone implementing the order of the court or even file a review against the order.
What is Karnataka's calculation?
There were enough indications on Wednesday that the government will not release any water for now. At the all party meeting, all spoke in one voice about not releasing water.
There were some leaders who even said that the drinking water for the people is more important than being hauled up for contempt. The line that all leaders took was that they were caught in a conundrum following the order of the court.
There is no water to release, the leaders also said. In this context the government decided to convene a special legislative session and have a resolution on this issue passed. The government will do exactly as per the resolution of the legislature.
Further at the all party meet in which the BJP was not present, it was stated that the state would fight the issue both legally and politically if hauled up for contempt. It would be out of desperation and no choice that the court's order was not being followed and not due to willful disobedience, the argument by the state would be.
During the meeting, the discussion regarding the imposition of President's rule also cropped up. All leaders said that if inevitable then they were ready to face the consequences. However, others even asked if the government of India would implement it over this issue.
The legislature would also explore the possibility of delaying the implementation of the Supreme Court's verdict. For now it would not be possible to release water, but there is a chance that the arrears could be cleared next month.
There is also a plan to tell the court that it has acted in a very rigid manner which could lead to a constitutional confrontation. In this context the state would go to the court armed with the resolution of the legislative assembly.