Chennai/New Delhi, March 29 : Opposition parties and farmers organisations in Tamil Nadu erupted in anger over the Central government’s moves to seek clarifications from the Supreme Court whether it had directed constitution of a Cauvery Management Board as the deadline for the purpose expired on Thursday.
They also attacked the Tamil Nadu government over its “inability” to pressure the Centre to implement the court order because it was “afraid” of the govenment in Delhi and had no guts to oppose it.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the next course of action on the river water sharing issue. Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and other senior Ministers attended the meeting at the Secretariat.
Later, Palaniswami held another meeting with some ruling AIADMK MPs who said they were willing to resign if directed by the party high command.
Sources said the state was said to be considering approaching the Supreme Court with a contempt petition over non-implementation of the February 16 order that directed constitution of a Board within six weeks, a period that expired on Thursday.
With Karnataka opposed to creation of the Board and the issue being sensitive in view of the coming Assembly elections, the BJP-led government at the Centre is reportedly considering moving the Supreme Court to seek clarifications on the verdict.
Karnataka and the Centre are of the view that the apex court had not directed the constitution of the Board and had only spoken of a “scheme” in keeping with the award of the Cauvery Water Tribunal, a stand that is completely opposed to Tamil Nadu’s position.
DMK leader and former PWD Minister Duraimurugan said both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam should meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ask him to set up the CMB and the CWRC.
“The AIADMK could have staged a protest outside Modi’s office in Delhi. It is not enough if we just pass resolutions. We have to exert pressure on the central government,” he added.
He questioned why the Chief Minister had convened a high-level meeting on the day the deadline was to end as well as the central government’s action to seek clarificaion on the ‘scheme’ word just before the last date.
PMK Founder S. Ramadoss also flayed the Centre for allegedly not abiding by the Supreme Court order and said the Tamil Nadu people will not pardon it for betraying the state’s interests.
“The Union government, instead of filing a clarification plea in the Supreme Court, should set up the CMB and the CWRC as the deadline ends tonight,” he said in a statement.
Several other leaders including VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan, Mutharasan (CPI-M) and activist P. Nedumaran echoed his feelings saying there was a danger of Tamil Nadu “rising in revolt” over the Centre’s “partisan” approach.
Actor Rajinikanth said setting up the CMB and the CWRC alone could help resolve the Cauvery issue and hoped “justice would prevail”.
His colleague in the cinema field and a now a political rival, Kamal Haasan, said the constitution of the Board alone was the only way out.
Asked about AIADMK MP A. Navaneethakrishnan’s remarks in Parliament on Wednesday that his party MPs were ready to commit suicide if the Centre did not set up the CMB and the CWRC, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan said: “If my resignation helps in constitution of the CMB and CWRC, I am ready to do it.”
He said the coming Assembly polls in Karnataka had nothing to do with the delay in action on the Cauvery issue.
Radhakrishnan also promised the BJP’s full support to the Tamil Nadu government in securing the state’s rights in the Cauvery water issue.