Bangalore, Oct 6 (IBNS) Karnataka observed a near total shutdown on Saturday in response to a bandh called by various Kannada groups with the backing of most political parties, including the ruling BJP and opposition Congress, over the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) direction for release of water to Tamil Nadu.
While the bandh was a success the Karnataka leaders closed ranks with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who hails from the state, urging the Prime Minister to not release further water to Tamil Nadu.
"I would kindly urge upon you to explore possibilities of stopping further release of water from dams in Karnataka and also call for an interim report of the team of experts", said Krishna, who is now touring USA.
"I sincerely feel that the situation needs your immediate attention, if it is to be prevented from worsening, as there is already a strong feeling among people of Karnataka that they may have to face severe shortage of water in the months to come. The entire state is waiting with bated breath to get immediate relief as otherwise it will spell disaster for the population in the Cauvery basin."
In response to the bandh call, the state´s normal life came to a halt.
Schools and colleges remained closed while vehicles were off the road. There were no autos or taxies on the road.
Besides state capital Bangalore, the bandh was complete in Cauvery basin districts like Mandya, Mysore and Chamarajanagar.
Last month, the CRA, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, directed Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu daily from Sept 20 to Oct 15, but it was ignored by the state.
The Supreme Court later slammed the Karnataka government for ignoring the PM´s orders to release water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu.
Ordering Karnataka to release the water immediately, the Supreme Court told the Karnataka government: "Prime Minister is the highest authority... you don´t want to comply with this order... we are sorry to say this."
While Karnataka started releasing water since Sept 29, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had said he will consult legal experts and heads of other parties in his state to decide whether the state will seek a review of the Supreme Court verdict.
The Tamil Nadu government had moved to the Supreme Court over the Cauvery river water sharing issue after the meeting of the CRA failed to produce a solution.
Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa has attacked the Prime Minister alleging that he was taking decisions from Delhi unaware of the ground realities in Karnataka.
He even alleged that the PM is pleasing Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha for support to save his government.