Opposition DMK today described as an "eye-wash" a meeting convened by Union Water Resources Ministry with stakeholder states on Cauvery issue yesterday and called for a special session of Tamil Nadu Assembly to discuss the river water dispute.
DMK Working President and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly M K Stalin wrote to Chief Minister K Palaniswami urging that a special session should be held before the budget session scheduled to start next week, especially in light of "step-motherly attitude by the Centre" shown towards the state on the inter-state dispute involving poll-bound Karnataka.
In his letter, Stalin recalled that he had placed the same demand with Palaniswami during a meeting between the two on March three in order to reiterate Tamil Nadu's stand on Cauvery.
Tamil Nadu wanted the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) as directed by the Supreme Court, which had recently pronounced its verdict on the inter-state dispute involving Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
On February 22, an all party meet chaired by Palaniswami decided that the chief minister will lead a delegation of leaders of all parties, farmers and MPs from the state to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Cauvery issue.
The meet had also resolved to urge Modi to immediately set up the CMB and Cauvery Water Regulatory Authority as per the apex courts order to set up the bodies within six weeks.
In his letter today, Stalin said that while the prime minister was yet to meet the proposed all-party delegation, and that the panel has been asked to meet Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari first, "now only an officials-level meeting an eye-wash drama done with electoral motives, has been conducted by the Centre," he alleged.
"The Central government has insulted the overall sentiments of Tamil Nadu on this very important issue. The government not willing to meet all-party leaders from Tamil Nadu is against democratic ethos," Stalin said in the letter.
He pointed out that three weeks have passed since the Supreme Court verdict, but the Centre "has not come forward to constitute CMB".
He also wanted to know if the state government officials present at yesterday's meeting in New Delhi had "opposed' Water Resources Ministry Secretary U P Singh's remarks that the apex court had in its order not used the words Cauvery Management Board.
The Ministry had held the meeting on Friday in New Delhi with officials from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
The DMK leader said that "with Centre not constituting the CMB and holding eyewash like a consultation with an eye on Karnataka polls, exerting further pressure on it over CMB without further delay becomes more imperative."
"Therefore, I, on behalf of Principal Opposition party DMK, urge you to convene a special session of the Assembly to (discuss) the livelihood of farmers and people's drinking water supply," he told Palaniswami.
This session should be convened ahead of the budget session which would be held following the presentation of the budget by Finance Minister O Panneerselvam on March 15, he said.