TAMIL NADU

Jayalalithaa stand precipitated crisis: DMK

CHENNAI Oct. 5. As the AIADMK is in power, it is up to the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, to find a solution to the Cauvery issue, the DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, said today.

``How can I find a solution? Right from the beginning, Ms.Jayalalithaa did not accept the Cauvery River Authority,'' he said. Recalling her description of the Authority as ``toothless,'' her walkout from a CRA meeting held in New Delhi and her holding the Karnataka Chief Minister responsible for the forest bandit, Veerappan, abducting the former Minister, H. Nagappa, Mr. Karunanidhi said the State was reaping the rewards for taking a stand. ``How can these acts lead to talks or an acceptable solution''?

But this did not mean that Karnataka's stand could be justified. It should release water due to Tamil Nadu, following the verdict of the Supreme Court and the CRA award.

Asked whether the DMK would write to the Prime Minister, A. B. Vajpayee, on the issue, he said that the party leadership would decide. On the Karnataka units of the BJP and the Congress supporting the ``no-water-to-Tamil Nadu'' stand, Mr. Karunanidhi said this stance could be for local compulsions. Even the AIADMK MLA in Karnataka was part of the delegation, which met the Prime Minister urging him not to press for water release to Tamil Nadu. ``All parties in that State are fighting for the rights of Karnataka.'' This was because of the manner the Chief Minister there handled the issue. Here, there was no such opportunity, the DMK chief said.

The DMK supported the Nadigar Sangam move to stage a protest on the Cauvery issue, he said but wondered how the organisation proposed to stop power supply to Karnataka from the Neyveli Lignite Corporation.

On the AIADMK Government blaming the DMK for the power tariff hike Mr. Karunaidhi said his Government, following a directive by the Centre, set up the State Electricity Regulatory Commission. But the DMK Government did not increase tariff. Even at meetings held in New Delhi, the then Electricity Minister, N. Veerasamy, made this position clear.

The argument that the setting up of the SERC was reason for the tariff hike could not be accepted. ``Did the Jayalalithaa Government accept all that the DMK Government set up''?

The farmer's market (Uzhavar Sandhais) and a marriage scheme were also instituted by the DMK Government. But the AIADMK did not continue with these.

On the opening of a Quaid-e-Milleth memorial, Mr. Karunanidhi said he had written to the Corporation Commissioner and the District Collector saying funds required for setting up a garden and for other minor works could be taken from his MLA constituency development fund. On putting up a Kannagi statue, he said the Chief Secretary had, in a communication, said a reply would be given to the DMK in a week.

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