“We have fought injustice in the Supreme Court,” said Siddaramaiah.

Not a victory but we got some relief Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah on Cauvery verdict
news Cauvery dispute Friday, February 16, 2018 - 19:22

Despite cheers all around in Karnataka following the Supreme Court verdict on the century-old Cauvery water dispute, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has refused to label it a victory for the state.   

“Since this is an inter-state dispute, I don’t want to say that it’s a win for one state and loss for another. We have fought injustice in the Supreme Court,” Siddaramaiah told reporters at the Vidhana Soudha during a media interaction.

Instead, he said, “Verdict is not fully in accordance with our plea but we have got some relief.”

On Friday, the first bench of the apex court led by CJI Dipak Misra ordered Karnataka to release 177.25 tmcft to Tamil Nadu annually as against the 2007 Tribunal award of 192 tmcft. The Supreme Court also allotted Bengaluru an additional 4.75 tmcft.

“We argued that Tamil Nadu has 20 tmcft ground water, so they have reduced it to 177.25 TMC. They (TN) said one-thrid of Bengaluru gets Cauvery water, but now that has changed. So they gave 4.75 tmc of water, so total 14.75 tmcft concession we got,” he said.

When asked if the state will release 177.25 TMC of water as mandated by Friday’s order, Siddaramaiah said, “We have to obey the court order. In the years there is normal rainfall we have to release 177.25 TMC. In the years where there is no normal rainfall, then it is not the case.”

He added, “If it rains we are happy.”

Replying to the issue of the formation of the Cauvery Management Board, Siddaramaiah said, “The matter is upto the government of India. It has not been considered by the Supreme Court.”

Incidentally, the CM who also presented his 13th state budget on Friday, had initially said, "I am happy with the verdict," just after judgement was out.

The reduction in the amount of water Karnataka will have to release to Tamil Nadu is being perceived as a victory for the state, and will come as a boost to Siddaramaiah and the ruling Congress ahead of the Assembly Elections.