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All Tamil Nadu Ministers barring CM, DY CM to take part in fast on Cauvery issue


Chennai, March 31: The entire AIADMK cabinet barring Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam will participate in the April 3 fast to be observed by the party seeking the formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

 Deputy O Panneerselvam and Chief Minister K Palaniswami. PTI file photo

According to the list released by the party, senior Ministers Dindigul C Sreenivasan (Forest), K A Sengottaiyan (School Education), P Thangamani (Electricity), D Jayakumar (Fisheries) and SP Velumani (Municipal Administration) among others will head the fast organised at different locations across the state.

The party nominated seven functionaries from Puducherry including MLAs to observe fast in the neighbouring union territory on the issue. Senior party leaders, heads of various wings, MPs and MLAs were also named in the list released by the party.

The protest will be held in all 32 districts of Tamil Nadu, besides in Puducherry, urging the Centre to constitute CMB and Central Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC).

With the Cauvery issue appearing to be snowballing into an embarrassment for the ruling AIADMK which has largely been friendly with the Centre, the party on Friday made an announcement on observing the hunger strike next week.

AIADMK coordinator Panneerselvam made the announcement while chairing a mass wedding function organised by the party at Madurai along with Palaniswami, the party co-coordinator.

Meanwhile, the rival TTV Dhinakaran camp challenged the ruling dispensation to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the hunger strike. Dhinakaran aide V Pugazhenthi told reporters here that the chief minister and his deputy should speak out against the Centre.

"The fast should not be a mere eyewash," he said, while recalling a hunger strike conducted by Dhinakaran in Thanjavur last week on the same issue. Tamil Nadu's stand is that the Centre must constitute the CWMB and CWRC.

In its February 16 judgement, the apex court had raised the 270 tmcft share of Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share of Cauvery water. The apex court granted six weeks time to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement, which modified the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award.

Following the verdict, Tamil Nadu has been urging the Centre to set up the CWMB and CWRC to ensure it received its due share of water from the inter-state river.


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