Madurai/Chennai: With anger sweeping Tamil Nadu over the Centre’s failure to set up a Cauvery Water Management Board (CMB), the ruling AIADMK announced a hunger strike on April 2 and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswamy hinted the state will move the Supreme Court with a contempt plea against the Centre. Reports have it that the contempt plea may be filed in the apex court on Saturday.
On the rival front, the DMK demanded that the Chief Minister convene a meeting of his cabinet and pass a resolution condemning the Central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Cauvery issue.
DMK leader M.K. Stalin also said after a meeting of the party Executive Council that the state government should file a contempt of court petition in the Supreme Court against the Modi government for not setting up the CMB within six weeks, which deadline expired on Thursday.
Seething with anger against the Central government for not setting up the CMB, political parties in Tamil Nadu are planning protests including hoisting black flags in condemnation. Speaking at a wedding function in Madurai, AIADMK Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said the AIADMK would go on a day’s hunger strike on April 2 at all district headquarters. He said the government of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa would take all steps to protect the rights of Tamil Nadu.
In his speech, the Chief Minister said the AIADMK had created “history” in Parliament by disrupting the Lok Sabha’s functioning for the last 17 days continuously. “Such a disruption has not been done in the history of the Lok Sabha in support of a demand of a state.
“The Centre has failed to implement the Supreme Court order on the constitution of the CMB. We want the Centre to implement it. And we will take legal steps in this regard,” Palaniswamy said in an apparent reference to the moves to approach the Supreme Court.
Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar told reporters in Chennai that the state government would fight for its rights and it was “friendly” with the Modi government only to get various developmental projects approved.
Stalin said the Tamil Nadu government should have approached the apex court with a contempt petition when the Union Minister for Water Resources and the Union Water Resources Secretary spoke against the apex court order on constituting the CMB. He said the party would show black flags to Prime Minister Modi, who is reportedly set to visit Tamil Nadu on April 15. He also said the DMK would sit with like-minded parties to decide what type of protests should be held on the issue.
A DMK Executive Council meeting condemned both the Central and state governments.
PMK founder S. Ramadoss accused the Centre of “betraying” Tamil Nadu’s interests and said people of the state would not believe the state government on the issue. PMK activists led by Ramadoss and former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss hoisted black flags on their houses.
Tamil Nadu parties allege that the Modi government did not set up the CMB as it does not want to alienate voters in neighbouring Karnataka, which is opposed to the Supreme Court order.