Cauvery row: As SC deadline approaches, TN CM holds meetings

Chennai: With the Supreme Court deadline to set up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) approaching, 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 participated in the meeting held at the Secretariat here.

Later, Palaniswami held another meeting with some ruling AIADMK MPs, who said they were willing to resign if directed by the party high command.

There were reports that the central government was toying with the idea of filing a petition in the Supreme Court for seeking clarification on term ‘scheme’ mentioned in its February 16 order wherein the government was directed to set up the CMB and the CWRC within six weeks.

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 that 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.

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.

Actor Rajinikanth said setting up the CMB and the CWRC alone could help resolve the Cauvery issue.

PMK Founder Dr 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.

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