Chennai: Arch rivals AIADMK and DMK today sparred in the Tamil Nadu assembly over the Cauvery dispute with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam asking the latter why it did not get the final award of a tribunal notified despite being in power in the state and in Centre then. Panneerselvam’s retort came when senior DMK leader Duraimurugan asked why the state government was not giving due credit to his party for its efforts in addressing the vexed inter-state river dispute with neighbouring Karnataka.
Duraimurugan was speaking on a resolution moved by Panneerselvam in the House urging the Centre to rein in Karnataka from going ahead with its plan to build a dam across Cauvery at Mekedatu. Panneerselvam pointed out that DMK was in power in the state in 2007 when the Cauvery Disputes Tribunal gave its final award. It was also part of the ruling UPA coalition at the Centre, enjoying representation in the Union Cabinet.
“Why did you not take any efforts for getting the final award notified in the Central gazette despite being in power in state and the Centre?” he asked the DMK. He said that the award was finally notified in 2013 following a legal battle by the state under his predecessor and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa.
Hence Panneerselvam claimed credit for her and the party for “ensuring state’s rights” on this issue. Later, when the DMK further wanted to debate the issue, Speaker P Dhanapal denied permission, prompting the party members to stage a walk-out under its Floor Leader M K Stalin. But, the DMK members returned to the house and supported the resolution, which was passed unanimously.