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|August 24, 1998||
Jaya threatens stir over Karunanidhi's Cauvery speech
All India Anna DMK general secretary J Jayalalitha today threatened to launch "large-scale agitation" if Chief Minister M Karunanidhi continued to hold public meetings claiming that the recent Cauvery agreement as an achievement for Tamil Nadu.
Taking exception to the Thanjavur public meeting addressed by Karunanidhi yesterday, Jayalalitha, in a statement in Madras, reiterated that the agreement amounted to betrayal and treachery by Karunanidhi.
She said he should seek an open pardon for "ruining Tamil Nadu's stand that the Cauvery dispute could be resolved only by the water dispute tribunal and the Supreme Court".
Jayalalitha said Karunanidhi had maintained a stoic silence over Karnataka Chief Minister J H Patel's remark in his Independence Day speech that the Cauvery Water authority headed by the prime minister would not be able to force Karnataka to release a specified quantum of water to Tamil Nadu.
She pointed out that Karnataka Irrigation Minister K N Nage Gowda had stated that the meeting of chief ministers of the four riparian states convened on August 6 by the prime minister had decided not to give effect to a particular provision in the tribunal's interim order, directing Karnataka not to extend its 'ayacut' beyond 1.12 million acres.
Meanwhile, reports from Bangalore said the Opposition Congress in Karnataka is planning a series of agitation in the Cauvery basin districts in protest against the central government's notification of the scheme to implement the interim award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, even as senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader H N Nanje Gowda defended the scheme as the best one.
Addressing a press conference in Bangalore, Congress leaders from Mandya, Mysore, Hassan and Tumkur accused the Janata Dal government in the state of sacrificing the interests of the farmers in the Cauvery basin.
They announced that the party would hold a series of meetings from August 26 in the four districts to highlight the "injustice" done to the Karnataka farmers and launch an agitational programme. They, however, did not specify the nature of the agitation.
Nanjee Gowda, who had challenged the interim award in the Supreme Court, however, defended the J H Patel government on the issue and told newsmen that the chief minister did not force any decision on the participants at the all-party meeting convened by Patel. The draft put forth by the state government was a unanimous decision of the meeting in which senior Congress leaders, including former chief minister M Veerappa Moily participated, he said.
He said the state was not in a comfortable position as it had been placed between the devil and the deep sea, with the Supreme Court setting a deadline to the Centre to come out with a scheme.
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