Demand for Cauvery board: AIADMK launches hunger strike in Tamil Nadu; Palaniswamy, Panneerselvam begin fast
With anger sweeping Tamil Nadu over the Centre's failure to set up a Cauvery Water Management Board (CMB), the ruling AIADMK is set to observe a hunger strike on Tuesday.
With anger sweeping Tamil Nadu over the NDA government's failure to set up a Cauvery Water Management Board (CMB), the ruling entire AIADMK launched its day-long hunger strike on Tuesday. The protest began at 8 am, will conclude at 5 pm.
The entire AIADMK Cabinet will participate in the strike. Chief Minister K Palaniswamy and his deputy O Panneerselvam launched the hunger strike in Chennai, while other ministers and party leaders led protests in districts across the state.
According to the list released by the party, senior ministers Dindigul C Sreenivasan (Forest), KA Sengottaiyan (School Education), P Thangamani (Electricity), D Jayakumar (Fisheries) and SP Velumani (Municipal Administration) among others will head the fast organised at different locations.
The party has nominated seven functionaries from Puducherry including MLAs to observe fast in the neighbouring union territory on the issue.
Senior party leaders, heads of various wings, MPs and MLAs were also named in the list released by the party.
The AIADMK, which had initially announced that the hunger strike programme will be held on 2 April, subsequently postponed it by a day.
The protest will be held on Tuesday in all 32 districts of Tamil Nadu, besides in Puducherry, urging the Centre to constitute CMB and Central Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC).
AIADMK is reportedly also considering moving a no-trust motion in Parliament against the NDA government. Senior AIADMK leader M Thambidurai said on Monday that his party would consider moving a no-trust motion in Parliament against the NDA government if Congress supported it.
On the rival front, the DMK has demanded that Palaniswamy convene a meeting of his Cabinet and pass a resolution condemning the central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Cauvery issue.
Meanwhile, the rival TTV Dhinakaran camp has challenged the ruling dispensation to criticise Modi during the hunger strike.
Dhinakaran aide V Pugazhenthi had said last week that the chief minister and his deputy should speak out against the Centre. "The fast should not be a mere eyewash," he had said.
Amid protests across Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a contempt plea of Tamil Nadu against the Centre on 9 April on the Cauvery issue.
The Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said,"We understand Tamil Nadu's difficulty of not getting water. We will resolve the issue."
Tamil Nadu's stand is that the Centre must constitute the CWMB and CWRC. In its 16 February judgment, the apex court had raised the 270 tmcft share of Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share of Cauvery water.
The apex court granted six weeks' time to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgment, which modified the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award. Following the verdict, Tamil Nadu has been urging the Centre to set up the CWMB and CWRC to ensure it received its due share of water from the inter-state river.
With inputs from agencies
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