NEW DELHI: Despite the gloom in the one-week-old Narendra Modi government following the accidental death of Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde on Tuesday morning, the Prime Minister met Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for about 50 minutes, where the latter raised a number of important issues for immediate action, including setting up of a supervisory committee on the Mullaiperiyar dam issue and the problems faced by fishermen from Tamil Nadu.
During the meeting, Jayalalithaa presented a 65-page memorandum, which included demands for release of Central funds promised to the State in the Central Budget since 2010, Rs 7,000-odd crore compensation for reduction of CST and another Rs 4,000 crore outstanding to Tamil Nadu on SSA and other Central schemes and other reimbursements.
“Contrary to reports… I have not made any demand for a special package for the State, rather I have pointed out that there are many allocations which have been made by the Centre since 2010 and which have not actually been delivered to Tamil Nadu,” Jayalalithaa said after the meeting.
Asked if her party, the AIADMK, will be joining the NDA, Jayalalithaa said, “There was no such talk and no such proposal.” Replying to persistent questions on whether her party would support the NDA from outside, particularly in the Rajya Sabha, the CM said, “NDA has got an independent majority. For that matter the BJP itself has got an independent majority. They do not need support from outside. We will see when the situation arises.”
On Mullaiperiyar, Jayalalithaa said she urged the Prime Minister to expedite the formation of the Supervisory Committee for raising the water level of the dam to 142 ft as directed by the Supreme Court. She pointed out that both the Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments have nominated their members to the three-member panel. “So I urged the Prime Minister to expedite the nomination of a member from the Central Water Commission so that before the Southwest Monsoon sets in, the water level can be raised to 142 ft.”
The Prime Minister, she added, “Promised that action will be taken within a week.”
Jayalalithaa called the meeting “useful” and hoped that it “will prove to be rewarding”.
In the meeting, the CM also stressed the need to form the Cauvery Management Board and follow it up with the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee so that the Tribunal order can be implemented. She also demanded that 15 per cent of the “still unallocated” power from Koodankulam and Neyveli be allotted to TN. By all indications, the meeting went off well.