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DMK’s Stalin urges Tamil Nadu CM to ask MPs to resign over Cauvery water dispute

DMK president MK Stalin says his party is ready to make any sacrifice to protect the interest of the state’s farmers.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2018 15:08 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
DMK,MK Stalin,Cauvery water dispute
DMK leader MK Stalin suggested that all MPs from Tamil Nadu should resign if the Centre fails to immediately set up Cauvery Management Board . (PTI File Photo )

The Opposition DMK on Saturday urged chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami to ask all members of parliament from Tamil Nadu to resign if the Centre fails to immediately set up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) as per the recent Supreme Court’s directive.

DMK president MK Stalin made the suggestion when he called on the CM at the latter’s invitation at the state secretariat in the morning.

“We are ready to make any sacrifice to protect the interests of the farmers and the state,” Stalin told media, emerging from the meeting.

The DMK leader said he told the CM to mount pressure on the Centre on the vexed issue by getting MPs from the state to resign when budget session of the Parliament resumes on March 5.

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on February 16 directed to form the CMB within six weeks in a verdict that marginally increased Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water, reducing allocation for Tamil Nadu, settling the protracted water dispute between the southern states.

The DMK leader upped the ante as the Centre so far remained non committal on forming the CMB and Prime Minister Narendra Modi allegedly refused to meet an all-party delegation from Tamil Nadu.

Political observers in the state viewed the Centre’s alleged inaction on the issue as a deliberate move to avoid any adverse fallout in Karnataka ahead of assembly elections in the state where the BJP is eyeing to form a government.

Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader S Ramadoss accused the Centre of being partial towards Karnataka to protect BJP’s political interest in the state.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah had already convened an all-party meeting on the Cauvery issue. The state is said to be preparing to oppose the SC directive on setting up of the CMB.

Stating that Palaniswami told him that the Prime Minister is reluctant to meet an all-party delegation from the state, Stalin said it was an insult to the entire population of Tamil Nadu and its farming community that is under severe stress due to repeated droughts over the past few years.

Stalin said that the CM told him that the PM wanted the all-party delegation to meet the concerned minister.

“EPS and OPS have been meeting the PM separately. Why the PM is not meeting the farmers, DMK and other opposition parties,” Stalin questioned and added, “we want all-party delegation to call on the prime minister to press for CMB and safeguard interests of the state.”

At least five lakh acres of standing crops have wilted in Tamil Nadu due to non-availability of water, according to leaders of farmers’ associations in the state.

State fisheries minister D Jayakumar, however, said the DMK leader’s claim on PM being reluctant to meet the all-party delegation from the state was not correct.

“The reply we got from the PM office is that the delegation should first meet the concerned minister,” Jayakumar said.

The state minister also denied that state government was not doing enough on the issue.

“We are hopeful of getting an invite from the Centre on Monday,” he said.

Only two weeks have past and there are still for more weeks for the implementation of the apex court’s directive on the CMB, the minister pointed out.

“The CM had also given a copy of the resolution adopted in the all-party meeting to the prime minister when he visited Chennai to participate in former chief minister late Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary on February 24,” Jayakumar added.

First Published: Mar 03, 2018 15:08 IST