CHENNAI: A day after the Supreme Court rejected Kerala’s plea to review the May 7 verdict, allowing to raise Mullaiperiyar dam water level to 142 ft, the Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution urging its neighbour to cooperate in restoring the storage to the original 152 ft and strengthen the Baby Dam as well as other residual works, in accordance with the verdict.
The resolution said the Centre should advise Kerala accordingly. Except the DMK, all the parties welcomed the resolution moved by CM O Panneerselvam, also hailing his predecessor Jayalalithaa’s efforts in resolving the Mullaiperiyar issue. DMK’s deputy leader Durai Murugan wanted former CMs MG Ramachandran and M Karunanidhi to be included in the resolution. This led to a heated debate between Durai Murugan, the CM and a couple of Ministers. Tracing the origin of the issue, Panneerselvam said due to the lackadaisical attitude of Karunanidhi, solution had evaded for a long time and it was Jayalalithaa who had redeemed the rights of the State. After the long drawn legal battle, storage in the dam had touched 142 ft on November 21 after a gap of 37 years, he added.
Despite being in power at the State and the Centre simultaneously, the DMK had failed to wield its influence to bring about a solution, Panneerselvam said and added that Karunanidhi had shirked his responsibility in this issue on every count. Speaker P Dhanapal expunged some of the remarks made by Durai Murugan.
When Durai Murugan reiterated his demand, Panneerselvam quipped, amidst laughter from Treasury Benches: “Can the demand of a failed student for awarding more marks to ensure a pass in the examination be accepted?”. After this, Durai Murugan led his colleagues in a walk-out. Reacting to this, Housing Minister R Vaithilingam said “the DMK’s walk out is nothing but betrayal of the people of Tamil Nadu.”