Political leaders in Tamil Nadu downplayed the Supreme Court verdict on the Mullaiperiyar Dam row, with a number of them placing the onus on the governments and political parties of both States to ensure that the verdict is not used to play the people of the two States against each other. Even as they declared the verdict as a victory for Tamil Nadu, they did so with restraint, stating that it should not be construed as a victory against anyone.
PMK founder S Ramadoss, VCK chief Thol Thirumaavalavan and State Congress president B S Gnanadesikan made direct references to the need for cordiality in people-to-people relations between the two States.
“The judgment confirms Tamil Nadu’s rights. Kerala’s politicians will seek a stay on this verdict in a bid to gain political mileage. So, the Tamil Nadu government should take steps to prevent this. Both governments have the responsibility to ensure that there is no threat to relations between the people of both States, and the Centre should assist them in such efforts,” said Ramadoss.
MDMK chief Vaiko however took a more hawkish line on the issue, noting that political parties were rallying together and accused them of plotting to deny Tamil Nadu its riparian rights. “I am opposed to the use of Article 356 of the Constitution (imposition of President’s Rule). But if the Kerala Assembly passes another resolution disrespecting the verdict of the Supreme Court, I have to demand the dismissal of the Kerala government and the dissolution of the Kerala Assembly,” said Vaiko in his statement.
Other leaders steered clear of making any other points and merely stuck to welcoming the verdict, such as DMDK chief Vijayakant, CPI (M) State secretary G Ramakrishnan, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and BJP State president Pon Radhakrishnan.