Karunanidhi, whose own government in Tamil Nadu were dismissed twice, in 1976 and 1991, under Article 356 that imposes President's rule over a state, said he did not demand such a move against Karnataka out of any hatred towards its people. He said he was afraid that the paddy fields of Tamil Nadu could turn barren if a 'heartless' state like Karnataka continued to deny them water. The relation between the two states has reached a low over the Cauvery river water sharing dispute.
While various organisations in Karnataka condemned Tamil Nadu and called strike over the matter last week, farmers in Tamil Nadu also resorted to rail roko to protest the Karnataka government's decision. Karnataka decided to stop releasing water from the Cauvery on Monday night.
Karunanidhi said imposing Art 356 in Karnataka would teach its government a lesson for it was betraying Tamil Nadu and was also dishonouring the ruling of the Prime Minister, who heads the Cauvery River Authority (CRA), a statutory body.
The DMK chief recalled his efforts towards setting up the CRA during the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998 and said the relation between the people of the two southern states deteriorated after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa mocked the body as 'toothless' and also decided against attending its meetings.
The DMK supremo resumed his efforts to mend the relation with Karnataka after he returned to power and he was joined in the venture by former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa. Both states displayed charitable gestures by unveiling statues of Tamil and Kannada poets in Bangalore and Chennai, respectively.
However, Karnataka turned adamant thereafter and was now refusing to abide by the decisions of both the Prime Minister and Supreme Court, Karunanidhi said.
According to him, Karnataka was not only denying water to Tamil Nadu but was also propagating that the latter had no right to ask for water. He slammed the Karnataka government officials for treating the Tamil people as enemies and for creating a permanent rift between the two states. Karunanidhi said the entire episode was harming the national unity.
The former Tamil Nadu CM had also criticised External Affairs Minister and former Karnataka CM SM Krishna for asking PM Singh to stop releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.