CHENNAI: All arrangements are in place for the all-party meeting on Cauvery water dispute, being convened after a long gap of 11 years at the Namakkal Kavignar Maligai at Fort St George here on Thursday.
Two representatives of each registered political party and one representative of each farmers’ association will participate in the meeting. Since the meeting is being held after a long gap, it is expected to last till the evening. The AIADMK, DMK, Congress, BJP, CPI, CPM, VCK, IUML and Naam Thamizhar Katchi are among the parties that will take part.
Ahead of the meeting, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami went into a huddle with Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, Public Works Department Secretary S K Prabhakar and legal experts.
The all-party meeting will take a decision on whether a review petition should be filed challenging the February 16 verdict of the Supreme Court and the political pressure to be exerted on the Centre to ensure the formation of Cauvery Management Board within six weeks as directed by the Apex Court.
The Supreme Court’s final verdict reduced the quantum of water to Tamil Nadu from 192 tmcft to 177.25 tmcft citing groundwater availability in the State.
Raising objections, experts have said because of the reduction in quantum, cultivation in two lakh acres would be lost.
Opposition parties had urged the government to take an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the formation of Cauvery Management Board within six weeks.
The Chief Minister countered the Opposition charges and said the Supreme Court had established many of the rights of Tamil Nadu. Later, he announced that an all-party meeting will be conducted to decide the next course of action in the issue.
DMK, PMK spar
The DMK and PMK leadership have entered into a tiff over the former’s role in finding a lasting solution to the Cauvery issue in a way beneficial to Tamil Nadu and over its alleged compromise when in power in the State and at the Centre.
The caustic comments made by PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss in a Facebook post, following a statement from DMK working president M K Stalin, triggered a public spat as the DMK pitted its warhorse Durai Murugan to launch a counter-attack.
Using a popular dialogue from Sivaji Ganesan-starrer ‘Thiruvilaiyadal’, the former Public Works Department minister, who is known for wit and sarcasm, wondered whether Ramadoss was a sort of poet penning poetry himself or a poet finding faults in others’ poetry, leaving the PMK camp miffed.
Durai Murugan also narrated the long battle that DMK president Karunanidhi had waged in securing the rights of Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery waters and how he worked hard to get the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal constituted and later exerted pressure to obtain the final award from the tribunal.
He refuted the charge levelled by Ramadoss that Karunanidhi had made somersaults on the issue of forming the Cauvery authority by compromising on the rights of Tamil Nadu.