With the Election Commission giving a go ahead to the Centre to set up the Cauvery Water Management board, leaders in Tamil Nadu remain hopeful that the Board would be formed before the Supreme Court deadline (three days later) ends.
On Monday, Chief Election Commissioner, OP Rawat responding to a question on the applicability of the code of conduct for the centre in constitution the Management Board said, â€śWhatever is the direction or order of the court and the (steps in) compliance thereof, the Commission or the model code of conduct does not come in the way.â€ť
The announcement came after the EC declared the dates for Karnataka Assembly election.
TN politicians had accused Karnataka and the Central government of dodging and delaying the Cauvery issue.
In an interview to Puthiya Thalaimurai TV, AIADMK top leader and TN fisheries minister D Jayakumar said that EC's announcement was a big blow to Karnataka.
"They (Karnataka government) were expecting the code of conduct to include the Cauvery issue. However, it didn't and this was a blow to them. We don't agree with Karnataka's stance. We are only demanding that the Supreme Court's judgement be implemented. Which is why filed a rejoinder stating that the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Authority should be set up. Our top officials have gone to Delhi now for this," Jayakumar said.
Explaining the matter further, he said, "For issues such as centrally sponsored schemes where the government provides grants, we cannot fight with them. We can only negotiate and come to a common ground. However, the Cauvery issue is not a scheme. It is a matter of our rights and we will continue to fight to get that right."
The Supreme Court has set March 29 as the last day to constitute the Cauvery Management Board. With only three days remaining, the leaders in TN are discussing the steps to be taken if the Centre misses the deadline.
Speaking to the media in Salem, CM Edappadi K Palanisamy said, "The SC has directed the Centre that within six weeks of the verdict, the order has to be implemented. We expect the central government to adhere to this and constitute the CMB. It is their duty to implement it,"
In the event of non-fulfillment of the verdict by the Centre, TN will then decide on further action, Jayakumar said,
"We are ready to do whatever is necessary if they don't form it by the 29th," he added.
The Supreme court had on February 16 delivered the final verdict on the Cauvery water sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In its modified order, Tamil Nadu would get 177.25 tmcft water, while Karnataka would get 14.75 tmcft more than it was allocated in the previous judgement. The Supreme Court also directed the Centre to â€śframe a schemeâ€ť within six weeks to ensure its final decision is implemented.
The TN government has already put in place a team to closely monitor the developments in the Cauvery issue. Following the non-constitution of the Management Board and Regulatory authority by March 29 (the deadline), the team will immediately file a petition in the top court, according to a Puthiya Thalamurai report stated.