Cauvery dispute: Kamal Haasan demands water management board, says BJP delaying it due to Karnataka polls

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan lashed out at the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government over the Cauvery water dispute on Thursday and demanded that the Cauvery Management Board be constituted in view of the farmers' woes.

"The state government should have made a representation before the Central government over the water dispute. If there is an intention from both the state and Central governments, they can constitute a management board," the chief of the newly-floated Makkal Needhi Maiam said at a press conference. He said that he has sought an appointment with Tamil Nadu chief minister EK Palaniswamy to discuss the issue.

"Some AIADMK MPs were saying they will even resign over the issue. This is just for political gains, and people will see through this. There is no need to indulge in this. If they do resign, I will congratulate them," he said.

File image of MNM chief Kamal Haasan. PTI

File image of Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan. PTI

He emphasised that the issue was about the necessity of farmers. "The prime minister can constitute the board if he wants to. I can only speak for what we require, and it's a simple basic requirement. The farmers need water. We will demand it if we have to."

Making an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, "Please sir, you have the authority to create this system, and you must do it."

On 16 February, the Supreme Court had given the Centre six weeks to form the management board, which was to take control of the dams across river Cauvery and distribute the waters to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry according to the formula of the Cauvery tribunal. The Centre is yet to publicly address the issue.

Haasan said that his party has emphasised on the issue so far, but its next step will be that of protest. "We were asking for water before and now we've come down to asking for the board. We are losing our position of preeminence," he said.

CNN-News18 quoted Haasan as saying that the BJP is delaying constitution of the board because of the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls.

Expressing solidarity with those protesting against Sterlite factory in Tuticorin, he said he will also join the agitation on 1 April.

"I am happy they have invited me to take part in the protest outside the Sterlite factory. I think they (Sterlite) have made enough money. What has happened so far is bad enough. It's in a red zone; all laws have been flouted. It's an impending tragedy waiting to happen," Haasan said.

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Updated Date: Mar 29, 2018 16:41:55 IST

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