AIADMK to fast against Centre's inaction on Cauvery
K. Venkataramanan / Chennai , The Pioneer
Stepping up its pressure on the Union Government, the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu said on Wednesday that its members would go on an eight-hour fast in front of Central Government offices in the State on Thursday to protest against what it called lack of effort by the Centre to get Karnataka release Cauvery water to farmers in Tamil Nadu.
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa lashed out at the UPA Government at the Centre for its alleged lack of response to her demand during her meeting with the Prime Minister on Tuesday for action to prevail upon Karnataka.
AIADMK MPs, MLAs, office-bearers and other functionaries would go on fast from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to protest against the "delaying tactics" of the Prime Minister, she said, in a reference to his decision to send a Central team to ascertain the storage position in the reservoirs of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to make a decision on the issue.
In a statement, she said: "We are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting in New Delhi yesterday and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has not given any assurance to us."
Despite being updated by her on the storage position in dams in Karnataka, Dr Singh merely said that a team would be sent to Karnataka to assess the situation, she said, adding: "This is nothing but delaying tactics."
Ms Jayalalithaa said the Centre had not condemned the Karnataka Government's attitude; not had it done anything to get the state's due share of water from Karnataka.
She accused Karnataka of remaining "adamant" in not releasing water and said there was every danger of the whole of the Cauvery delta "going dry and fallow". Karnataka had been using the Cauvery delta areas of Tamil Nadu only as a drain by allowing only its overflows to reach the lower riparian State.
However, in keeping with the competitive politics of Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery issue, the DMK concurrently claimed that the Prime Minister had given a concrete assurance on the matter. "The Prime Minister said the Centre would immediately take steps to resolve the Cauvery river water dispute," a DMK release said, quoting a telephonic conversation that its president, Mr M Karunanidhi, had with the Prime Minister earlier.
The developments come in the aftermath of two separate meetings that the opposition and the ruling dispensation in Tamil Nadu had with the Prime Minister over the last two days.
On July 25, a DMK delegation called on Dr Singh and handed over a memorandum, while on Tuesday, Ms Jayalalithaa met the Prime Minister to get Karnataka to release 24.32 thousand million cubic feet of water to make up for the shortfall in periodical releases as per the schedule laid down by the interim award of the Cauvery Tribunal.