As the six-week deadline given by the Supreme Court to formulate a scheme regarding formation of Cauvery Management Board comes to an end, the Centre on Saturday sought an extension of three months, citing the model code of conduct due to Karnataka elections. The move seems to be a pre-emptive counter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who moved the apex court later today over the Cauvery water board issue.
Citing the sensitivity of the Cauvery issue, the Centre, which has faced a lot of flak from AIADMK and DMK for dragging its feet on setting up of the water board, reasoned that its hands were tied since the dates for assembly elections in Karnataka were already declared. It also sought a clarification on constitution of Cauvery Management Board from the top court.
In its judgment on February 16, the Supreme Court had raised the Cauvery water share of Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s quota. The court had compensated Tamil Nadu by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the Cauvery basin. While Tamil Nadu has demanded that the scheme should resemble a Cauvery Management Board (CMB), Karnataka has pressed for a dispute resolution body.
The AIADMK and DMK MPs have vociferously protested against the “delaying tactics” of the Centre in constitution of the Cauvery board and have disrupted Parliament proceedings, forcing adjournments for 17 consecutive days. DMK working president M K Stalin on Friday said the party cadres would show black flags to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his scheduled visit to Chennai on April 11. Stalin, the Leader of Opposition in assembly, said the DMK would call an all-party meeting on April 1 before launching a massive agitation against the BJP-led government in the Centre.