The Tamil Nadu government’s approach in matters concerning inter-State disputes has been that of showing respect to the judiciary, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Tuesday.
Responding to reports that the Kerala government had begun the survey in the Periyar Tiger Reserve for a new dam on Mullaperiyar, Mr. Karunanidhi, in a statement, said that those who believed in unity realised over several incidents in the past that his government had been adopting the position of preventing any clash between the States.
Those who were wedded to the rule of law and democracy should ponder over whether it would be proper for a constitutionally-elected government to enact a law and carry out a survey even on a matter that was sub-judice. They should also keep in mind whether it would be appropriate for the Kerala government, comprising a national party that had a long tradition, to carry on such ways.
If the Kerala government, with its utter disregard for constitutional norms, thought that Tamil Nadu should bow to its wishes, people would be forced to ponder which State was dominating India, Mr. Karunanidhi commented.
The Chief Minister recalled that after the Supreme Court gave an order for raising the water level of the Mullaperiyar dam from 136 ft to 142 ft, a law was enacted in Kerala to ensure non-implementation of the order. Even as Tamil Nadu’s petition was pending before the Court, this fact was suppressed and the approval for the survey on the new dam was secured through Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh. Tamil Nadu stoutly opposed the development by approaching the Supreme Court again. Under such circumstances, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan described the opposition of Tamil Nadu as an attempt to make political gains.
Mr. Karunanidhi also pointed out the advice of K.V. Thomas, Union Minister of State for Agriculture from Kerala, that there should be no unnecessary conflicts between the States when both were inter-dependent.