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Political fallout of Supreme Court's verdict in Cauvery water dispute

Karnataka goes to polls in the next three months with Election Commission and while this case had been festering for long, the verdict is likely to provide a boost to the ruling Congress party's prospects in the state.

 

twitter-logo Venkatesha Babu        Last Updated: February 16, 2018  | 12:49 IST
Political fallout of Supreme Court's verdict in Cauvery water dispute

The Supreme Court has finally spoken in the long festering fight between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on equitable distribution of water in River Cauvery which flows mainly in both the states. The SC in an order asked Karnataka to release 177.25 TMC of water instead of the earlier 192 TMC mandated by a tribunal, taking into consideration several factors including drinking water requirements of Bangalore city.

There was no change in water allocation for either Kerala or Puducherry, the other two states involved in the dispute. SC has also stated that this award will only be relooked after 15 years. Karnataka sees this as a big win as it gets an additional 14.75 TMC of water including 4.7 TMC for supplying drinking water to parched Bangalore.  

Karnataka goes to polls in the next three months with Election Commission and while this case had been festering for long, the verdict is likely to provide a boost to the ruling Congress party's prospects in the state. Karnataka is one among the 5 states where the Congress is in power and the only large state apart from Punjab where it holds the reins. It is making an all out effort to retain the state in the polls.

The lead counsel for Karnataka in the SC who argued the state's case is Brijesh Kalappa, a lawyer who is also a spokesperson for the Congress party. The Congress government in the state is already claiming credit for the SC verdict. While both BJP and JD (S) the other two main parties have welcomed the verdict, they will jostle politically to ensure that the Congress party alone will not claim credit for the Supreme Court verdict.

In Tamil Nadu the verdict will be viewed as a setback for the state and the inability of the E Palaniswamy government to 'protect' the state interests in the absence of 'Amma' J Jayalalitha. With the recent loss in the R K Nagar seat to the TTV Dhinakaran faction of AIADMK, the EPS-OPS group of AIADMK which controls the government would come under further pressure after this verdict. Reactions of film stars Rajnikant and Kamal Hassan who have expressed their intention to jump into the political fray, to the Cauvery verdict will be interesting.

 

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