Facing flak in Tamil Nadu for the Centre’s stand against setting up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), the BJP’s state unit on Saturday said it would call on party chief Amit Shah, even as Opposition parties continued to their protests.
“We will meet our party chief Amit Shah tomorrow (on Sunday) on the Cauvery issue and apprise him of Tamil Nadu unit’s views on the CMB,” BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan said.
Soundararajan said she would lead a delegation of state party leaders, including Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan and Rajya Sabha MP elect L Ganesan, to meet Shah.
Explaining the procedural aspects of setting up the Board, which includes getting Parliament’s approval, she claimed that “the BJP has always been protecting the interests of farmers of Tamil Nadu and will continue to do so”.
Stating that the state unit was for setting up the CMB, she said all steps would be taken to get it done.
Meanwhile, Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu continued to stage protests against the Centre on the Cauvery issue. PMK and Tamil Manila Congress (Moopanar) held agitations here and in Ariyalur on Saturday, demanding that the CMB be constituted to protect farmers’ interests.
Slamming the BJP-led Centre for its “betrayal of Tamil Nadu” by not coming forward to set up the Board, PMK chief S Ramadoss said his party would continue to protest peacefully against the Union government on the river water issue.
“We see the BJP-led Centre as a party which has committed a big betrayal against Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery issue. It is an unpardonable betrayal,” he told protesters.
He alleged that the Centre had taken a stand against setting up the Cauvery Management Board with an eye on the Karnataka assembly election, which is due in 2018.
“This is injustice against the people of Tamil Nadu,” the PMK chief said, adding his party would continue to fight against the Centre on the Cauvery issue through peaceful means.
Ramadoss said his party’s executive committee will decide on the mode of protest against the Centre. It may include protests such as waving black flags during visits of Union ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) party chief GK Vasan led a protest at Ariyalur. Blaming the central government, he said it had “tilted from its neutral position” and sided with Karnataka by opposing the CMB.
Stating that the plea to set up the CMB was a long-time demand of farmers to ensure adequate inflow of Cauvery waters, he said the Centre’s stand “is against Tamil Nadu and its farmers and is a betrayal”.
Shouting slogans such as “release Cauvery water for farmers,” he said “both the Congress-led Karnataka government and the Centre headed by the BJP are betraying the Cauvery delta farmers of Tamil Nadu”.
On Friday, DMK had observed a fast in Thanjavur and party treasurer MK Stalin had said his party would convene an all-party meeting and lead a delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Cauvery issue if the AIADMK government did not take immediate steps for an all-party meeting.
Similarly, People’s Welfare Front comprising MDMK, CPI, CPI(M) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi held a protest demonstration at Tiruvarur. MDMK chief Vaiko had called for concerted action by all parties on the issue.