Chennai, May 14 :Even a s the Tamil Nadu government said it would first study the Cauvery Draft Water Management Scheme submitted by the Centre in the Supreme Court on Monday, major state parties voiced opposition to the scheme. Speaking to reporters in Madurai, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said that the state government would first study the draft scheme and then decide on the next course of action. Minister for Law, Courts and Prisons C.Ve. Shanmugam told reporters that the state would submit its views on the scheme to the apex court on May 16. DMK leader M.K. Stalin urged the Tamil Nadu government to call an all-party meeting on Tuesday to discuss the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and arming it with legal power.
Stalin said that representatives of farmer associations should also be a party to the meeting. The DMK leader raised concerns over when the Centre would fully implement the scheme, adding that it was Tamil Nadu government’s responsibility to stress that it would not accept anything other than the CMB. Stalin said the AIADMK government should call the meeting and stress its stand in the apex court on Wednesday, when it, along with other three southern states, had been called to submit response on the scheme. The DMK has also called for an all party meeting on May 17 — a day after the Supreme Court hearing in the case to chalk out next course of action on the Cauvery issue.
PMK founder S. Ramadoss said the draft scheme did not involve the power to implement the award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal. He said the proposed body was “powerless and cannot implement the Tribunal’s award”. Wondering who would implement the tribunal’s award, the PMK leader said that dams built across the Cauvery in Karnataka would be under the control of that state, in which case that state’s government would not abide by the decisions of the proposed body.
He said that the Centre’s proposal had brought back the water dispute to the starting point all over again. Ramadoss demanded that the Tamil Nadu government oppose the Centre’s proposal on the Cauvery water sharing body. The Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) floated by Kamal Haasan has also called an all party meeting here on May 19. Kamal Haasan met Stalin and invited him for the meeting. Stalin said the decision whether to attend the meeting convened by MNM would be taken at the all party meeting convened by DMK on May 17. According to a public relations official for MNM, Kamal Haasan also spoke to Rajinikanth and invited him for the May 19 meeting. It is not known what was Rajinikanth’s response to the invite.