Chennai: In an effort to put pressure on the Centre, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam sat on a hunger strike on Tuesday demanding the formation of Cauvery Mangement Board.
Taking the law enforcement agencies by surprise, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leaders Palaniswami and Panneerselvam sat on the hunger strike at 8 am. The protest will conclude at 5 pm, reported news agency IANS. They were later joined by several party members. Hundreds of people also gathered to protest against Centre’s inaction to set up the Cauvery Mangement Board. In districts too, junior ministers and party leaders held the protest.
Meanwhile, a section of traders called for a statewide bandh on Tuesday, April 3.
The hearing of state government's contempt petition in Supreme Court over the issue is on April 9. The Supreme Court bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said,"We understand Tamil Nadu's difficulty of not getting water. We will resolve the issue. List the matter for April 9."
On Sunday, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president MK Stalin and other party leaders were detained in protest against Centre over the constitution of Cauvery Water Management.
Next day, two DMK workers – PT Murugesan and Singai Sadashivam – allegedly made self immolation bids in Coimbatore over the issue. Th police also detained over 1,000 persons across the state in connection with protests, who were released later in the day.
The party has decided to observe a shutdown across Tamil Nadu on April 5 over the Cauvery issue and has asked AIADMK to join them.
On February 16, the top court in a verdict had reduced the Tamil Nadu`s share of Cauvery water from 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), which was less than 192 TMC allocated by a tribunal in 2007.
On the other hand, poll-bound Karnataka`s share of water was increased by 14.75 TMC. Tamil Nadu political leaders say the BJP is acting in favour of Karnataka, which is opposed to the CMB and where Assembly elections are due.
The Centre has failed to set up the board within six weeks of the Supreme Court`s February 16 order. The deadline ended on March 29.