Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan issued a video appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urging him to do justice to the people of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the Cauvery issue.
His appeal comes as the Prime Minister arrived in Chennai to participate DefExpo and is also scheduled to inaugurate four facilities at the Adyar Cancer Institute amidst large protests by several groups, who waved black flags and carried banners saying ‘Go back Modi’. Protesting groups have demonstrating against the Centre’s alleged failure to set up the Cauvery Management Board.
In his video message, Kamal says, “My name is Kamal Haasan. This is an open appeal to the Prime Minister. I am sure you are very aware of the crisis that is gripping Tamil Nadu and the ongoing agitations for Cauvery water. I think with your previous experience for Narmada Water Board Authority, you could easily deliver the justice that Tamil Nadu is seeking for.”
Kamal also pointed out that there was a widespread belief that the delay in framing a scheme in on account of the elections in Karnataka and the BJP’s interests in that state.
Appealing the Prime Minister to dispel this belief, the actor-turned-politician says, “Both pundits and pedestrians alike suspect and believe that this delay in getting justice is due to the elections in Karnataka and your interests in it. I want this belief to be dispelled. For people are more important than elections, as you well know. Thank you, sir. Please do justice for Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and see to that the Supreme Court judgement is followed. I am also sending you an open letter in case I have missed out any points in my anxiety to pass on this tumultuous moment in Tamil Nadu and people will of somehow getting water for their farmers and themselves. Thank you, sir. I am sure you will do the needful and you must. Thank you, namaste.”
The Supreme Court had in its February 16 judgement directed the Centre to frame a scheme within six weeks. However, when this deadline expired on March 29, the Tamil Nadu government went to the apex court, filing a contempt of court petition against the Centre.
The Centre, on the other hand, went to court, seeking clarity on the use of the phrase ‘frame a scheme’, which has given room for interpretation. While Tamil Nadu argued that scheme means Cauvery Management Board, Karnataka has said the word ‘Board’ is missing from the judgement. The Centre also sought a three-month extension from the top court, arguing that if it framed a scheme before Karnataka went to polls on May 12, it would vitiate the election process and cause massive uproar amongst the public.
Last week, however, hearing Tamil Nadu’s contempt petition, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to frame a draft scheme by May 3.