India is the land of rivers, it is famously said. But it seems more apt to call it the land of river disputes, keeping in mind the increasing instances of river disputes. While the Cauvery river dispute is Tamil Nadu and Karnataka’s bone of contention, Mahanadi and Krishna rivers are embroiled in controversy.
But what is striking in all these controversies is the fact that whereas, the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s demand for the centre’s intervention has been well received, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah’s demand for the PM Modi’s intervention has been opposed by B.S. Yedyurappa.
While it is only natural for a people to have an emotional bond with the rivers which are a major source of irrigation, the BJP which is the opposition in Karnataka, and the central government has been consistent in its silence of the issue over which the state has been burning.
If the centre can mediate a dialogue between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, why can it not play a similar role in the Cauvery dispute?