CHENNAI: A group of opposition political leaders in Tamil Nadu led by the DMK on Thursday met Governor Banwarilal Purohit and urged him to use his Constitutional office to press the Centre to follow the order of the Supreme Court and immediately set up the Cauvery Water Management Board.
The meeting with the Governor was the culmination of the week-long march taken out by the Cauvery Rights Retrieval Committee, a collective of eight opposition parties. The leader presented a memorandum to the Governor which sought his intervention in the matter.
The memorandum took a stinging shot at the Centre, accusing it of delaying the constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) to be able to score some political points in the coming Karnataka Assembly elections.
"Should the Government of India be indulging in such manipulation merely to attain some electoral advantage in Karnataka, unmindful of the irreparable loss of livelihood of lakhs of farmers and reduction in the drinking water resources available to crores of people in the State of Tamil Nadu?" read the memorandum.
The Supreme Court in its final judgement in the Cauvery dispute on February 16 had ordered the Centre to set up the CWMB within six weeks. That deadline expired on March 30. Karnataka votes for its new Assembly on May 12.
The leaders also expressed displeasure that the Centre had waited for the six-week deadline to lapse before filing a petition to clarify the meaning of the word 'scheme', which they claimed had no room for doubt in the way the Supreme Court had worded the judgement, and for asking for three more months to implement the top court's order.
"Such an inordinate, unjustifiable and wilful delay in implementing the judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court has dashed the hopes of lakhs of farmers of the State, who have already been suffering," the memorandum said.
"Therefore, we request you to kindly use your Constitutional Office to convey the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu to the Government of India and impress upon them the urgency to constitute the Cauvery Management Board," the memorandum to the Governor read.
It also appealed to the Governor for his "immediate and effective intervention In this matter to implement the Final Award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court and thereby, protect the interests of the people of this State of which you are the esteemed first citizen."
The memorandum was signed by DMK working president MK Stalin, Dravidar Kazhagam president K Veeramani, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president S Thirunavukkarasar, CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan, CPI state secretary R Mutharasan, Indian Union Muslim League president KM Khader Mohideen, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi president Tol Thirumavalavan and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi president MH Jawahirullah.