Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

On the Cauvery Water Crisis

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses its grave concern over the attempts to rouse chauvinistic passions of the people in Karnataka and Tamilnadu on sharing of Cauvery waters. The scanty rainfall during the south-west monsoon in the Cauvery belt has created crisis situation both on the irrigation and drinking water fronts. The Supreme Court and subsequently the Cauvery Rivers Authority (CRA) directed Karnataka government to release water to Tamilnadu based on the principle of sharing water in a distress year. The Karnataka government is refusing to release water on the plea of depleted flows into its reservoirs and citing violent protest by farmers.


On the other hand, Tamilnadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha has demanded that S.M. Krishna government in Karnataka should be dismissed if it continued with its refusal to release water. Certain sections in Tamilnadu have raised the demand that power transmission to Karnataka should be stopped in retaliation. Chauvinism is running deep in both the states and it is unfortunate that the state units of certain national political parties like BJP and Congress are taking conflicting opportunistic positions.

The stand of the Karnataka government that it will not release water despite the directions of the Supreme Court and the CRA will have serious repercussions on the federal polity of our country. The Tamilnadu government is also taking an attitude of non-cooperation with the CRA. The Karnataka government should comply with the directions of the Supreme Court and the CRA and the difficulties, if any, can be brought to the consideration of the CRA.

The hollowness of the claim of the Vajpayee government in 1998 that it had succeeded in solving the Cauvery water dispute stands thoroughly exposed. The Polit Bureau urges upon the Central government to take immediate steps to find a solution to the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamilnadu in order to defuse the mounting tension among the people in both the states.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) appeals to the people of both the states to show restraint and not to fall prey to the game of opportunistic forces to rouse chauvinistic passions.