The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Krishna tars Jaya in contempt reply

New Delhi, Oct. 23: Karnataka chief minister S.M. Krishna today replied to court notices for alleged contempt in the Cauvery water dispute and sought more time from the Supreme Court to respond in detail on the case.

Krishna stated that there was neither wilful non-compliance of the court order to his government to release water to Tamil Nadu nor did he show any disrespect to the judiciary.

He argued that his Tamil Nadu counterpart, Jayalalithaa, wanted to “create an atmosphere of confrontation” and indicated that she wanted to politicise the Cauvery water issue — a move that could spark a blame game.

“The strategy of the Tamil Nadu government was to create an atmosphere of confrontation and incite passions of people in both states and thereby create conditions of instability,” Krishna said in his reply to the apex court’s contempt notice on him.

He added in his affidavit that “a grave situation in Karnataka arose out of this water dispute, which might have ignited an unmanageable situation”.

Krishna justified his publicised padayatra earlier this month, stating that “due to the confrontational attitude of Tamil Nadu, which led to (an) agitation of farmers in Karnataka and the death of one panchayat leader, he had to undertake the padayatra to persuade the farmers to withdraw their agitation”.

The chief minister sought another couple of weeks to file an elaborate reply. Due to a paucity of time, he was filing a “short” reply to the court notices, he said, while pleading that the case be postponed by two weeks.

Tamil Nadu had filed a contempt petition against the Karnataka government, the chief minister, the water resources minister and the state chief secretary for wilful non-compliance of the apex court order to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. The contempt petitions are slated to be taken up for hearing tomorrow.

On the order of the court directing his government to release 9,000 cusecs of water as per the Prime Minister-headed Cauvery River Authority order, Krishna said “there was no wilful disobedience on my or on my government’s part”.

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