The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday filed a contempt petition against the Centre in the Supreme Court for failing to meet the court’s deadline to set up the Cauvery Management Board. The Centre, meanwhile, filed its own petition seeking three more months to set up the board in view of the Assembly elections in Karnataka in May, IANS reported.
In its contempt petition, the Tamil Nadu government sought action against Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha and Water Resources Secretary UP Singh for “wilfully disobeying” the court’s order, The New Indian Express reported. “The government is going to mention the matter before the Supreme Court on Monday,” said counsel for Tamil Nadu Uma Pati.
On February 16, the Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to set up the board within six weeks to ensure that its ruling on the allocation of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is implemented. The deadline expired on Thursday.
The Centre filed a clarification petition on Saturday, asking the Supreme Court whether it can modify the board’s composition. The plea said that a clarification from the court was necessary to avoid “further litigation by the states”.
The government said that forming the board in the run-up to the Karnataka elections would lead to public anger and cause law and order problems.
The government of Puducherry may also file a contempt petition against the Centre, The New Indian Express reported. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said the government had consulted legal experts and would make a decision in a couple of days.
Protests in Tamil Nadu
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will organise hunger strikes across Tamil Nadu on April 3, The Hindu reported. “The government is following the footsteps of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to safeguard the rights of Tamil Nadu,” Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said. “We will raise our voices for the rights of the state.”
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has called for an all-party meeting in Chennai on Sunday to discuss the Cauvery dispute, and representatives of a number of farmers’ associations have called for a shutdown on April 11. They made the decision at a meeting that the Pattali Makkal Katchi organised in Chennai on Friday. In protest, the party’s founder S Ramadoss and president of the youth wing, Anbumani Ramadoss, hoisted black flags at their homes in Thailapuram in Villupuram district and Chennai’s T Nagar locality.
The AIADMK’s member in the Rajya Sabha, S Muthukaruppan, said he had decided to resign from the Upper House in protest against the Centre. “Amma [Jayalalithaa] gave me this post,” he said. “But when you [Centre] are playing with the lives of farmers for votes in Karnataka, why should I continue as an MP?” Muthukaruppan said, adding that he has not discussed his decision with the party yet.