Addressing the press from his head office in Chennai, Makkal Needhi Maiam leader Kamal Haasan has said that an exclusive meeting will be held in Chennai to discuss Tamil Nadu’s rights in the ongoing Cauvery tussle with other states on May 19 and that water experts, farmers and party members will take part in it. Kamal also left the meeting open for other parties to participate as well.
“This is an important gathering. Based on discussions with all the farmers association it has been decided that a meeting will be conducted in Chennai. Calling it Tamil Nadu’s voice for Cauvery, we plan to discuss and demand Tamil Nadu’s rightful share of water from different dams,” Kamal said.
“We have been losing our rights step-by-step. This is a political game. The only way is for farmers to be united. Everyone’s got to be united beyond political boundaries. I am happy that they’ve chosen Nallakannu ayya as their leader,” he added.
“Tomorrow, no matter who wins (Karnataka elections), there’s going to be a Chief Minister. He is bound by people’s welfares. We shall meet him. No matter which party he belongs to, he is human too right? We will talk to him. We will appeal to him. For that we need to unite,” said Kamal.
On being asked if these talks might take TN a step backward, Kamal responded by saying that even after the draft has been submitted by the Centre to the Supreme Court a clear picture on the quantity of water to be shared has not been charted out. “Give us a clear indication. This is not clear enough,” he said.
After a long delay, the Centre submitted the draft scheme to the Supreme Court on Monday. This progress comes after the apex court warned the Centre on May 8 that any further delay will amount to contempt of court, ordering the Union Water Resources Secretary to remain personally present with the draft scheme on the Cauvery water sharing mechanism on May 14.
As per its May 4 directive, 4 TMC water was to be released to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka immediately filed a counter within hours, saying it has already released 116.697 tmc ft. to Tamil Nadu despite this being a distress year for the third consecutive year.