Tamil Nadu

Cauvery issue: Supreme Court breather for Centre disappointing, says Stalin

DMK working president M.K. Stalin on Monday expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s decision to grant time till May 3 to the Centre for submitting a draft scheme for the sharing of Cauvery waters.

“While we welcome the Supreme Court pulling up the Central government for the delay in implementing its February 16 order on the Cauvery issue, the people of Tamil Nadu are hugely disappointed with the breather granted to the Centre till May 3,” Mr. Stalin said while addressing the media on the sidelines of the Cauvery Rights Retrieval Rally at Ammapettai in Thanjavur district.

He claimed that the respite could have been on account of the Centre filing a petition seeking clarification on the ‘scheme’ [which the court had asked it to implement] at the last minute. He, however, welcomed the clarifications given by the court in this regard.

To a query, Mr. Stalin claimed that it was only on account of the DMK-led agitations that the Supreme Court indicated that justice would be rendered to Tamil Nadu, as it sought an end to the protests.

Since the Cauvery issue was yet to reach the point of resolution, the rally’s schedule would not be altered till Thursday, Mr. Stalin said, adding that on Friday, Opposition leaders would march towards the Raj Bhavan in Chennai, as planned. “However, we would consult with all leaders shortly to decide on the next course of action,” he said.

On the calls to disrupt the IPL matches in Chennai, he said there would be no harm in the people exerting pressure on the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board while the tournament was in progress.

‘Paint T.N. black’

During his interaction with the villagers, Mr. Stalin claimed that the State had been pushed to the position of observing April 12, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Tamil Nadu, as a ‘black day’, and called upon the people to sport black outfits and hoist black flags atop their houses as a mark of protest. “Paint Tamil Nadu black that day,” he appealed.

Meanwhile, the leaders who spoke during the second leg of the Cauvery Rights Retrieval Journey, which was flagged off by Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani at Ariyalur on Monday evening, were critical of the Supreme Court’s directive and vowed to continue the agitation.

K. Balakrishnan, State secretary, CPI(M), said that the latest order of the Supreme Court would only lead to further delay [in implementing the Cauvery water sharing scheme], and had disappointed the farmers of Tamil Nadu. The Central government, with an eye on gaining political mileage in the Karnataka election, was wilfully delaying the formation of the Cauvery Management Board. The SC’s order would aid the Centre's delaying tactics, he said.

‘Doesn’t solve issue’

Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani said that the Supreme Court’s decision to seek a draft Cauvery scheme from the Centre on May 3 did not resolve the issue at hand.

“In reality, it seems like the new directive silently provides support for the Centre’s decisions so far,” he said in a statement.

Echoing his views, PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss said that the Supreme Court’s direction to the Centre to submit the draft Cauvery scheme would only delay justice for Tamil Nadu. He urged the Tamil Nadu government to file a separate petition to speed up the process in the Supreme Court. If there was a delay beyond May, Tamil Nadu must get an order to at least release the water required for Kuruvai crops.

He said the Supreme Court chastising the Centre for waiting till the deadline to seek clarification had underlined the fact that the Centre had acted in a one-sided manner.

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The article has been edited to correct the name of the CPI (M) State secretary.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 6:12:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sc-breather-for-centre-disappointing/article23485405.ece

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