Tamil Nadu to move SC over Cauvery board, AIADMK plans hunger strike
DMK leader MK Stalin asked chief minister K Palaniswami to convene a meeting of his cabinet and pass a resolution condemning the Central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Cauvery issue.india Updated: Mar 30, 2018 21:29 IST
The Tamil Nadu government will move the Supreme Court on the issue of constituting the Cauvery Water Management Board, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said on Friday even as the ruling AIADMK announced that it would observe a fast on April 2 on the matter.
With the Cauvery issue appearing to be snowballing into an embarrassment for the AIADMK which has largely been friendly with the Centre, the party announced a ‘hunger strike’ on Monday seeking formation of the CWMB and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee.
AIADMK’s arch rival DMK said it would hold a black flag demonstration against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his proposed visit to Tamil Nadu on April 15.
DMK, the main opposition party, said it would also hold a meeting of its friendly parties on April 1 and later announce a “massive” demonstration against the state and central governments, party top leader M K Stalin said.
In New Delhi, AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP S Muthukaruppan said he would resign from the RS on the Cauvery issue.
He said the Prime Minister was not listening to them on the Cauvery issue.
“I am going to resign my post, this is a post given to me by Amma (Jayalalithaa),” Muthukaruppan told reporters at New Delhi.
Praising late J Jayalalithaa for her steps on the Cauvery issue in the past, the MP said he would like “to do something for the people,” following in her footsteps.
He made it clear that the decision to resign was his own while he lauded both Chief Minister Palaniswami and Panneerselvam for their efforts on the Cauvery issue.
He said he would submit his resignation to Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu during the next sitting of Parliament.
Reacting to this, DMK leader Stalin said all ruling party MPs should resign and not Muthukaruppan alone.
Meanwhile, outfits including the pro-Tamil Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi staged protests against the Centre seeking setting up of the CWMB.
The agitations were held in Chennai and the Cauvery delta town of Tiruvarur.
Farmers’ leader P R Pandian said demonstrations like the one witnessed seeking approval for ‘Jallikattu’ (bull taming sport) last year should be held on the Cauvery issue.
He said Central government offices should be picketed.
Speaking to reporters at Madurai, Palaniswami said the kind of petition to be submitted in the apex court was being discussed with legal experts.
Tamil Nadu’s stand is that the Centre must constitute the CWMB and CWRC.
Underlining his government’s commitment towards setting up of CWMB and the CWRC, Palaniswami said his party MPs had vociferously taken up the matter in Parliament leading to proceedings being stalled for over two weeks.
Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar indicated that the apex court would be approached in a couple of days.
In its February 16 judgement, the apex court had raised the 270 tmcft share of Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water.
The apex court, which modified the 2007 award of Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) with respect to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, retained the share of Kerala at 30 tmcft and Puducherry at 7 tmcft, out of a total of 740 tmcft.
The apex court granted six weeks time to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement, which modified the CWDT award.
Following the verdict, Tamil Nadu has been urging the Centre to set up the CWMB and CWRC to ensure it received its due share of water from the inter-state river.
AIADMK coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam made the announcement on hunger strike while chairing a mass wedding function organised by the party at Madurai along with Palaniswami, who is also the party co-coordinator.
Pointing out that the six-week deadline given by the apex court had ended yesterday, Panneerselvam said, “The people of Tamil Nadu and the farmers are expecting an answer from the Centre on the Cauvery issue.”
Stalin, also the leader of opposition in the Assembly, alleged that the AIADMK dispensation was “subservient” to the Centre.
He blamed the central and state governments for enacting a “drama” on the issue.
After chairing the party’s executive committee meeting on Cauvery, Stalin told reporters that the black flag stir would be part of the next course of action his party would take up over the river water sharing issue.