Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her Karnataka counterpart Jagadish Shettar are meeting in Bangalore on Thursday on the Cauvery water sharing row heeding the Supreme Court advice amid indications that a breakthrough is unlikely.
The two leaders are expected to do some hard bargaining and stick to their position on the decades-old vexed dispute, a politically-sensitive issue on both sides of the border.
The meeting, tentatively slated for 3 pm at a plush hotel, comes as a follow up to the apex court's suggestion to both the Chief Ministers to meet and arrive at an amicable solution to the "sensitive" water dispute.
"Our view is that the talks be held in a cordial, congenial manner. If we are able to find a permanent solution to the problem through talks, it would be good for Karnataka as well as to the farmers of Tamil Nadu," Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka told reporters in Bangalore.
"This is a question of farmers; not concerning any political party," said Ashoka, who holds the Transport and Home portfolio in the BJP government. "If there is an acceptable solution for farmers of both states, it would be good for them."
This would be the second time in 15 years that chief ministers of the two states will have bilateral talks on the water row after 1997 when M Karunanidhi and J H Patel met in Chennai.
Hearing the issue, the Supreme Court had on Monday suggested that both chief ministers should give it a try and meet in a congenial manner and discuss the issue in the larger interest of farmers of both states.
However, reports said that the chief ministers are expected to stick to their positions in view of Southwest monsoon bringing less showers in Karnataka and a distress situation in the Cauvery delta districts in Tamil Nadu.
Jayalalithaa on Wednesday chaired a meeting of ministers, chief secretary and senior advocates to chalk out strategy for Thursday's meeting.