TIRUCHIRAPALLI: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has lashed out at Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK and the Centre over the constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board. He dismissed the ruling AIADMK's one-day hunger strike as 'farcical', and accused it of acting in a manner subservient to the Centre.
Addressing a press conference in Tiruchirapalli, where his recently launched party - Makkal Needhi Maiam - is holding public meeting, Kamal said, "We were hopeful that the judgment of the Honourable Supreme Court on February 16, 2018, would be implemented in toto and the Central government would constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board within deadline the six weeks as provided in the order. The Honourable Supreme Court had unequivocally stated in its order that no extension will be granted for this under any grounds."
"However, today to our dismay, we are witnessing a repeat of what happened in 2016. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court in its order of September 2016 had directed the Central government to constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board as per the verdict of the Cauvery Water Tribunal within a period of four weeks from the date awarded. It was not constituted then under the pretext of legal technicalities. We are seeing a repeat of it again, now. I am reminded of the saying, the more things change, the more they remain the same," he added.
Reading from a prepared statement, Kamal then turned to a direct attack against the ruling AIADMK government. "While the responsibility of constituting the Cauvery Water Management Board is with the Centre, the Tamil Nadu state government cannot hallucinate that it has fulfilled its duty towards the people who elected them by just filing a contempt petition after the deadline, or by holding a farcical one-day hunger strike. This TN government is functioning like a sub-servient government to the Central government rather than upholding states' rights, which is the essence of Indian federalism," he said.
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— Makkal Needhi Maiam | மக்கள் நீதி மய்யம் (@maiamofficial) April 4, 2018
Asked about revelations that the 'fasting' AIADMK leaders were eating on the of the hunger strike, Kamal said, "I have never believed in hunger strikes. Maybe they too have come around to my belief."
He said his party would discuss its approach to the issue and would come up with an action plan.