A S Ravindra Srikanaiah, JD(S) MLA representing the Srirangapatna segment, on Sunday raked up a controversy by saying “the responsibility of providing Cauvery waters to crops” is only on the newly-elected Member of Parliament Sumalatha.
Speaking to presspersons in Srirangapatna, the MLA said: “The Centre has already issued a gazette notification to set up Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA). The CWMA will oversee the storage, discharge and other regulatory issues pertaining to the Cauvery waters.”
The CWMA comes under the purview of the Centre. As Ms. Sumalatha will resolve the issue, she should take measures to put pressure on the Centre to discharge water to canals to save the standing crops, which have been withering, he said.
He also said, “Now, Ms. Sumalatha is not just an Independent MP. She won the poll battle with the electoral support of the BJP. Thus, she should strive to get the Cauvery waters to canals to provide justice to the farmers.”
Srikantaiah’s statement has severely irked farmers’ leaders.
K S Nanjunde Gowda, a senior Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) in the State who joined the BJP in 2018, has termed the MLA’s statement ‘irresponsible and insensitive’.
He suggested the MLA study about the CWMA. Moreover, being an elected representative from the ruling party, it was his duty to pressurise the Centre [through the State government] to get water for standing crops, he said.
The CWMA will have representatives from beneficiary States — Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry — and the elected representatives, including Mr. Srikantaiah, should effectively present their demands for water before the authority, he demanded.