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DMK has no moral right to talk about Cauvery issue: Tamil Nadu deputy CM

In an unexpected development, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Panneerselvam joined AIADMK leaders at the hunger strike demanding the formation of the CMB.

SNS | New Delhi |

Tamil Nadu deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam attacked the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Congress over the Cauvery water issue claiming that they have no “moral right” to talk about the problem.

“DMK and Congress have no moral right to talk about the Cauvery problem. It is the DMK which has betrayed the Cauvery cause,” he said at a hunger strike called by members of his party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), on Tuesday in Chennai.

Accusing DMK of trying to use the issue for “political gain”, Panneerselvam said that the people of the state will not forget party matriarch Jayalalithaa’s contribution to the Cauvery cause.

He said that the party’s struggle will continue till the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) is set up.

Embattled on all sides by opposition parties in the state, the ruling government in Tamil Nadu has upped its ante on the Centre over the Cauvery water sharing issue.

In an unexpected development, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Panneerselvam joined AIADMK leaders at the hunger strike demanding the formation of the CMB.

Read More: Tamil Nadu CM leads ruling party’s fast over Cauvery issue

Reports say that the police and some members of the AIADMK were surprised to see the CM and the deputy CM join the strike at Chepauk.

The hunger strike by the AIADMK leaders comes two days before the main opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (DMK) strike.

 

Tamil Nadu deputy CM Panneerselvam
(Photo: Twitter/@OfficeOfOPS)

 

Several ministers and senior leaders including D Jayakumar, Party presidium chairman E Madhusudanan arrived at the district headquarters taking part in the protests.

On the other hand, opposition parties have been leading protests at various parts of the state.

As the AIADMK went on a hunger strike, former AIADMK leader and now the chief of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) TTV Dinakaran was detained in Trichy as he allegedly attempted to gherao the Trichy International Airport with leaders from his party.

Read More: Dinakaran detained for ‘attempting’ to gherao Trichy airport

On 5 April, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan will be addressing a gathering at Trichy where he is expected to speak on the Cauvery issue. The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder has condemned the state government for failing to make the Centre adhere to the Supreme Court ruling on the formation of the CMB.

DMK working president MK Stalin was on Sunday detained along with leaders of other parties for staging a protest against the Centre’s failure in the formation of CMB.

“We have begun a struggle in Chennai with the party leaders and volunteers to condemn the Centre and state governments. Our struggle will not stop until the Cauvery Management Board is formed,” Stalin said following a meeting with leaders from other parties except the AIADMK.

The parties agreed to hold black flag demonstrations whenever Prime Minister Narendra Modi or any member of his Cabinet visits Tamil Nadu. Modi is reportedly expected to visit on 15 April.

In spite of the apex court, the Centre failed to form the Board by 29 March at the end of the six-week deadline given to it.

On Saturday, the Tamil Nadu government filed a contempt petition against the Centre accusing it of “wilful disobedience” and deliberate delaying of the implementation of the Supreme Court order. But the Centre, too, had moved the apex court on Friday to seek a clarification and asking for three months for implementing its judgment in view of the May assembly elections in Karnataka.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the contempt petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government against the Centre over the non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). The apex court will hear the petition on 9 April.

Read More: SC agrees to hear TN’s petition on CMB, DMK protests continue

The Judgment

In its judgment on 16 February, the Supreme Court reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water and increased Karnataka’s share.

The apex court directed the Karnataka government to release 177.25 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from its inter-state Biligundlu dam.

The Supreme Court raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”.

The CMB, once formed, is expected to take control of the dams across river Cauvery through which it will distribute waters to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry according to the formula of the Cauvery tribunal.

Tamil Nadu has been demanding creation of the board so that it can be granted the power to open up reservoirs instead of the Karnataka government.