DMK on Wednesday accused Union Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti of backing Karnataka in the Cauvery issue and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should chair the proposed meeting of Chief Ministers to break the impasse on water release to Tamil Nadu. In a statement here, DMK President M Karunanidhi said reports in a section of media opined that Bharti should chair the meeting of Chief Ministers of the two states, being convened by the Centre as per a Supreme Court suggestion.
He said Bharti had recently aired views "fully supporting" Karnataka over the impasse on release of Cauvery water by that state to Tamil Nadu and doubts would arise about the outcome of the meeting if she chaired the deliberations. "Instead of the participation of the Union Minister, the meet should be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself so that an amicable solution arises from it," he said recalling the reported remarks of Bharti.
The apex court had yesterday asked Karnataka to discharge 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till Friday despite its assembly resolution, but called for a political solution to the impasse by convening of a meeting of Chief Ministers of the two states and the Centre. Karunanidhi said water was required for irrigation till January 28 for the samba crop, but the present storage in Mettur dam would suffice only till November 5.
Karnataka had released only 52 TMC so far as against 123 tmc mandated by the tribunal for June-September, he said adding only if Karnataka releases the remaining quantum, water can be released from Mettur Dam for samba crops fully. With Karnataka refusing to release water, crops already cultivated would be affected and farmers would suffer huge losses, he said.
On the discussions held by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa yesterday with officials in a hospital here, where she is undergoing treatment for fever and dehydration, after the apex court order, Karunanidhi sought to know why neither the PWD Minister nor his Secretary attended the meeting. Jayalalithaa had nominated PWD Minister Edappadi S Palanisamy and a team of officials to represent the state in the CMs' meeting to be held in Delhi.
Meanwhile, People's Welfare Front Co-ordinator and MDMK Chief Vaiko said Tamil Nadu's participation in the Chief Minister's Meeting would be "detrimental" to the state and demanded that the Centre constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board and regulation committee without any delay. "Centre should take steps in such a way that Karnataka obeys the Supreme Court order. Centre has the responsibility to ensure Karnataka follows the rule of law", he said in a statement. "Holding discussions between the two states will be detrimental to the rights of Tamil Nadu on Cauvery river", he claimed.