Cauvery Water Dispute: AIADMK Announces Hunger Strike on 3 April

Opposition DMK has decided to show black flags to PM Modi on his visit to Chennai on 15 April. 

3 min read
The Cauvery river water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is as old as 1892. 

The controversy around the Cauvery water sharing issue between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka has refused to die down.

As the six-week deadline given by the Supreme Court to the Centre to formulate a scheme on the Cauvery dispute ends, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to hold a statewide hunger strike on Tuesday, 3 April. Earlier, the party had announced that the strike would be observed on 2 April.

PTI, quoting an AIADMK release, said that the fast would be held from between 8 am and 5 pm on Tuesday in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The Tamil Nadu government will also move the Supreme Court on the issue of constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB), state fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said on Friday, 30 March.

“We are discussing if it would be a contempt plea. We will not compromise on Tamil Nadu’s rights,” he added.

But the centre’s inaction has sparked a political slugfest in the state, with the opposition slamming the central and the state government for betraying the people of Tamil Nadu and not implementing the Supreme Court’s order of constituting a Cauvery Management Board.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK had also criticized opposition party DMK and the Congress for not ensuring that the state got its due share from the inter-state river.

It also blamed the previous UPA government for not taking the necessary steps to ensure provision of Cauvery water, despite notifying the final award of the Cauvery disputes tribunal in a central gazette.

Both the AIADMK and the DMK however, lauded the efforts of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in bringing up the Cauvery water dispute issue to the center, multiple times through the course of her rule.

She had reportedly even held an indefinite fast in her first stint as Chief Minister during the 1991-96 regime, the AIADMK release said.

In Delhi, AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP S Muthukaruppan said that he would resign from the Rajya Sabha, a position given to him by Jayalalithaa, on the Cauvery issue.

Inspired by Jayalalitha’s efforts on the Cauvery issue in the past, the MP said he would like "to do something for the people," by following in her footsteps.

DMK leader MK Stalin said, “At least now Tamil Nadu’s Cabinet should condemn centre's contempt, and EPS should stop working overtime for BJP victory in Karnataka to escape from corruption cases.”

Tamil Nadu’s stand is that the Centre must constitute the CMB and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) within six weeks from the day the apex court gave its verdict, which would have been 29 March.

DMK has also decided to show black flags to Prime Minister Modi, who is expected to attend the defence expo in Chennai on 15 April. The decision comes after the Prime Minister refused to meet any delegation from Tamil Nadu on the issue of CMB.

What Was the SC Verdict?

The Supreme Court had on 16 February pronounced its verdict on the vexed dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

In its judgement on petitions by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the final order of the Cauvery water disputes tribunal apportioning the water among riparian states, the apex court had raised the 270 tmcft share of Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share.

The court had compensated Tamil Nadu by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft ground water from the river basin.

Since the verdict, Tamil Nadu has been urging the Centre to set up the CMB and CWRC to ensure it received its due share of water from the inter-state river.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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