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October 2, 1999
Jayalalitha ups the ante on Cauvery
All India Anna DMK General Secretary J Jayalalitha today threatened to release details as to how the farmers in the Cauvery delta region were being "betrayed" if Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi continued to portray the Cauvery accord as an "achievement."
In a five-page statement released in Madras, she wondered as to why Karunanidhi was not able to secure the release of water, if the Cauvery River Authority headed by Prime Minister A B Vajpayee had the authority to direct Karnataka to do so.
Jayalalitha alleged that Karunanidhi had agreed to drop the vital clause, envisaged in the original draft plan drawn up on May 30, 1997, during the previous I K Gujral regime at the Centre, for periodical release of Cauvery water as and when the delta region required it.
"Karnataka was adamant in insisting on the removal of this clause and Karunanidhi, by agreeing to this, had thrown to the winds the interests of the farmers of the delta region,'' she added.
She termed as baseless, Karunanidhi's claim that the CRA enjoyed the necessary constitutional power to implement the Cauvery Water Tribunal's interim award.
Meanwhile in Bangalore former Karnataka chief minister M Veerappa Moily today accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of using the Cauvery river dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to meet its political ends.
"This is a single outstanding example of an assault on the federal framework and the gross political interference in a matter of inter state river water sharing," he said in a statement.
As anticipated earlier, the Cauvery River Authority had proved to be a highly politicised body. The much publicised slogan of creating harmony between the two states after 100 years of dispute was only an illusion, he said.
Moily, referring to the monitoring committee decision asking Karnataka to release nine TMC Ft of water to Tamil Nadu, said the Karnataka government should appraise the prime minister that the CRA was handicapped in taking any decision to release water without the basis of scientific data on the ground situation.
He said Karnataka could not expect any justice from the CRA presided over by Prime Minister Vajpayee.
In the meantime, the water level in the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur across the river Cauvery is steadily increasing, thanks to the widespread rain in the catchment areas and heavy inflow into the reservoir.
Tamil Nadu state public works department sources said the level stood at 39.96 feet this morning as against 37.65 feet last evening.
The inflow into the reservoir was 20,122 cusecs. However, the discharge had been stopped due to heavy rain in the delta areas of Tiruchirapalli, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, the sources said.
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