Tamil Nadu’s Forest Minister Dindigul Sreenivasan has called out the BJP for delaying the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).
Speaking at a party event in Dindigul, the Minister said, “BJP is thinking of winning in Karnataka and so they are putting on an act. We don't need that. According to Supreme Court judgement, the Cauvery Management Board has to be constituted within six months and give us the water we are due. We are doing an awesome protest, worthy of everyone's appreciation.”
With 37 MPs in the Lok Sabha, the AIADMK has been protesting in Parliament demanding that the Centre set up the CMB. Even as the AIADMK disrupted proceedings in the House on Monday, the party remained non-committal on the TDP’s no-confidence motion against the BJP. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Monday stated, “Don't compare their(TDP) issue with Cauvery issue. Our government will never let the state down. The Supreme Court has given six weeks’ time (for formation of Cauvery management board), so if nothing happens we all will discuss future course of action.”
On February 15, the apex court modified the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal’s final order, by reducing Tamil Nadu’s share to 177.25 tmcft against 192 tmcft allotted in 2007. In doing so, it increased Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water by 14.75 tmc ft, mainly to meet the drinking water needs of Bengaluru. In its order, the SC also directed the Centre to frame a scheme within six weeks, so that the decision could be implemented.
However, the word ‘scheme’ in the apex court order has given room for interpretation. While TN argues that “scheme” meant the Cauvery Management Board, Karnataka has opposed this stating that there is no mention of the CMB and only a “scheme” is mentioned.
Following a meeting of chief secretaries of the Cauvery Basin states with Union Ministry of Water Resources two weeks ago, the Centre chose to side with Karnataka’s argument.
Karnataka is slated to go to polls in May this year.
Dindigul Sreenivasan’s comments come three days after AIADMK spokesperson KC Palaniswamy told media persons that the AIADMK would support a no confidence motion against the Modi government if the Cauvery Management Board is not set up.
A statement issued in Chennai by the party's Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister K Palaniswami stated that he had acted against the integrity and objectives of the party.