Bengaluru, Aug 26 (IANS): Even as major political parties in Karnataka are vying with each other to get political mileage out of the present Cauvery dispute following the failure of Monsoon rains ahead of Lok Sabha elections, the issue is not likely to affect the electoral politics of the state, according to experts.
When BJP and JD (S) questioned the Congress government on the release of water to Tamil Nadu, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar challenged the parties that he could give an account of instances of the release of water to Tamil Nadu during their regimes. He pointed out that even when H.D. Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister, the JD (S) government headed by late chief minister J.H. Patel released the water to neighbouring states.
Pertinently, in Mysuru, Mandya, Ramanagara, Hassan and Chamarajanagar districts, through which River Cauvery and its tributaries passes Congress won most of the seats in the recently concluded assembly elections.
The region is considered as bastion of JD (S). BJP is yet to find its roots in the region and the push to wrestle the south Karnataka region by BJP top leaders proved to be a disaster in the recent elections.
C. Rudrappa, a senior political analyst talking to IANS said that the Cauvery dispute in Karnataka has always been a passing event. No party has come to power so far by fighting the election on the agenda of the Cauvery dispute.
“It is a perennial issue and whenever there is a shortage of rainfall, it will crop up. The Cauvery issue does not affect the voting pattern in Karnataka,” Rudrappa said.
The Cauvery issue is mainly pertaining to south Karnataka. In the last assembly elections, there was a five per cent vote shift to Congress from JD (S). The BJP has no presence in south Karnataka and it does not have any stakes in the region, he explains.
Speaking to IANS, B. Samiulla, a senior journalist explained that first time in history the Supreme Court bench had declined to intervene in the matter and asked Tamil Nadu to present the case before the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT). On all occasions, the apex court provided relief to Tamil Nadu and ordered for release of water.
“No party can make political gains in this situation. The Cauvery agitation has lost its intensity in the south Karnataka region over a period of time. Earlier, if late Cauvery activist G. Made Gowda gave a call, thousands would come out for agitation in Mandya district alone. No such leadership has emerged since Gowda. Since former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda had released the water, the JD (S) is not in a position to question,” Samiulla explained.
He said that there still is time for the Lok Sabha elections and the issue will not affect public opinion.
K.T. Srikante Gowda, former JD (S) MLC explained that the people of Mandya district had elected six candidates of the Congress party out of seven seats. But, now the people are repenting for choosing Congress over JD (S). There was no necessity to show magnanimity by releasing the water to Tamil Nadu before it approached the Supreme Court, he added.
The Congress party is batting for resolving the Mekedatu project and claiming that it would end the strife between the two states. Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar has also made appeals to Tamil Nadu politicians and government. However, Tamil Nadu is still opposed to it as it is a major poll issue in the neighbouring state.