The Centre has invited Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry governments for talks on the Cauvery river water dispute on 9 March (Friday). Officials of the Union Water Resources Ministry will hold talks with representatives of these four states, reported Tamil daily Dinamalar.
The setting up of a Cauvery Management Board is expected to be discussed at the meeting.
An all-party meeting called by Karnataka on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the river water dispute has been postponed to 8 March. The meeting was initially scheduled to be held on 7 March but had to be put off as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is preoccupied with several other engagements. Former prime minister Deve Gowda has been invited to the all-party meeting to share his views with various leaders. Gowda said the Supreme Court ruling was not in favour of Karnataka and he asked the state government to spell out its plan.
Siddaramaiah is open to the idea of setting up a management board, as ordered by the Supreme Court in its ruling on 16 February.
In Tamil Nadu, the Communist Party of India has asked the state government to convene another all-party meeting. An all-party meeting was held on 22 February, where the parties and farmer associations decided to take out a delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and request for early setting up of the management board.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami separately held discussions with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam working president and leader of the opposition M K Stalin on 3 March on the issue. Stalin suggested that Palanisway should ask all members of Parliament (MP) representing the state to resign if the Centre fails to set up the management board.
However, the suggestion has evoked mixed reaction with critics pointing out that the DMK had nothing to lose as it hardly had five MPs of which the term of a couple of them is set to end. The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), on the other hand, has nearly 50 MPs, including in the Rajya Sabha. Hence, the ruling AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu is not enthusiastic about the suggestion for the MPs to resign.
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