Cauvery issue: TN BJP to call on Amit Shah; opposition stir on

Chennai: Facing flak in Tamil Nadu for the Centre’s stand against setting up Cauvery Management Board, BJP’s state unit today said it would call on party chief Amit Shah tomorrow on the issue, even as Opposition parties continued to hold protests against the union government.

“We will meet our party chief Amit Shah tomorrow on the Cauvery issue and apprise him of Tamil Nadu unit’s views on the CMB,” BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan said.

Soundararajan said she would lead a delegation of state party leaders, including Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan and Rajya Sabha MP elect L Ganesan to meet Shah.

Explaining the procedural aspects of setting up the Board, which includes getting Parliament’s approval, she claimed that “BJP has always been protecting the interests of farmers of Tamil Nadu and will continue to do so.”

Stating that the state unit was all for setting up the CMB, she said all steps would be taken to get it done.

Meanwhile, Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu continued to stage protests against the Centre on the Cauvery issue. PMK and Tamil Manila Congress (Moopanar) held agitations here and in Ariyalur today, seeking constitution of CMB to protect the farmers’ interests.

Slamming the BJP-led Centre for its “betrayal of Tamil Nadu” by not coming forward to set up the Board, PMK chief S Ramadoss said his party would continue to protest peacefully against the Union government on the river water issue.

“We see the BJP-led Centre as a party which has committed a big betrayal against Tamil Nadu on Cauvery issue. It is an unpardonable betrayal,” he told protesters.

He alleged that the Centre had taken a stand against setting up the Cauvery Management Board with an eye on the Karnataka Assembly election, which is due in 2018.

“This is injustice against the people of Tamil Nadu,” the PMK chief said, adding his party would continue to fight against the Centre on the Cauvery issue through peaceful means.

Ramadoss said his party’s executive committee will decide on the mode of protest against the Centre.It may include protests like waving black flags during visits of Union Ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tamil Nadu.

The protest demonstration was to urge the Centre to immediately set up the CMB.

Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) party chief G K Vasan led a protest demonstration at Ariyalur. Blaming the central government, he said it had “tilted from its neutral position” and sided with Karnataka by opposing the CMB.

Stating that the plea to set up the CMB was a long time demand of farmers to ensure adequate inflow of Cauvery waters, he said the Centre’s stand “is against Tamil Nadu and its farmers and is a betrayal.”

Raising slogans like “release Cauvery water for farmers,” he said “both the Congress-led Karnataka government and the Centre-headed by the BJP are betraying the Cauvery delta farmers of Tamil Nadu.”

Yesterday, DMK had observed a fast in Thanjavur and party treasurer M K Stalin had said his party would convene an all-party meeting and lead a delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Cauvery issue if the AIADMK government did not take immediate steps for an all party meeting.

Similarly, People’s Welfare Front comprising MDMK, CPI, CPI(M) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi held a protest demonstration at Tiruvarur. MDMK chief Vaiko had called for concerted action by all parties on the issue.