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CM talks hinge on Ministerial level talks: MK

Written by: Staff

Chennai, Dec 5: The second round of Chief Ministerial level talks hinges on the outcome of the proposed Ministerial-level talks between Tamil Nadu and Kerala on the Mullaiperiyar Dam issue, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi informed the State Assembly today.

Replying to the debate on the issue, Mr Karunanidhi said only if there were strong signals from the Ministerial-level talks that the issue could be resolved, the second round of Chief Ministerial level talks would be held, otherwise Tamil Nadu will not hesitate to go back to Supreme Court to implement its directive to raise the storage level of the dam to 142 feet.

Denying that the November 29 Centre-mediated talks he had with his Kerala counterpart V S Achuthanandan at New Delhi had failed, Mr Karunanidhi said the talks were only adjourned to collect more data.

''Instead of approaching the Supreme Court, we accepted the Ministerial-level talks to collect data about the annual quantum of water received in the dam, the amount of water used by Tamil Nadu and the quantum used for irrigation,'' he added.

''The Chief Ministerial level talks was only adjourned to collect statistics to strengthen Tamil Nadu's case,'' he said.

Mr Karunanidhi said ''only if the PWD Minister (after the Ministerial level talks) says that the Chief Ministerial talks will succeed, I will participate in the talks.'' ''If the Ministerial-level talks did not succeed, Tamil Nadu will approach the Supreme court to implement its directive allowing Tamil Nadu to raise the storage level to 142 ft from 136 ft,'' he added.

The Chief Minister said he had attended the November 29 talks based on the mandate and support given by the all party meeting held here against the backdrop of Supreme court's suggestion that the two States try to a find a negotiated settlement in the presence of Centre.

''If the political party leaders say that the Ministerial-level talks will not serve any purpose, the Tamil Nadu government is ready to go to Supreme court even tomorrow,'' Mr Karunanidhi said.

Observing that his talks with his Kerala counterpart in Delhi only remained ''inconclusive'' and was not a failure as claimed by a section of the media and others, he appealed to Mr Achuthanandan and the people of Kerala not to raise passions on the issue.

Stating that people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu had long standing friendly relations, he appealed to his Kerala counterpart for finding an amicable solution to the issue.

Earlier the House witnessed uproarious scenes when Deputy Leader of the Opposition O Panneerselvam (AIADMK), raising the issue during Zero hour, alleged that the government had failed to protect the interests of the state. After Speaker R Avudaiyappan reject their demand for an adjournment motion for a debate on the issue, the AIADMK members were on their feet and shouted slogans against the government.

A remark by Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasamy that the previous AIADMK regime had not done anything after the Kerala government brought in amendments not to allow the storage level beyond 136 ft, brought the AIADMK members on their feet.

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Leader D Sudarsanan said as the issue involved the rights of the people of the state, he wanted all the political parties to remain united and support the steps taken by Mr Karunanidhi.


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