The stage is set for an all-party meeting in Tamil Nadu on Thursday over the Supreme Court's verdict on the Cauvery water sharing dispute.
The meeting in Chennai will be attended by representatives of 30 political parties and 14 farmers' associations, reported The Times of India. The parties and associations will decide whether to file a review petition against the apex court's verdict.
It will also be decided whether the Centre needs to be pressured for the formation of the Cauvery Management Board within six weeks, as directed by the apex court.
Representational image. AFP
The New Indian Express reported that the meeting will take place at the Namakkal Kavignar Maligai at Fort St George in Chennai. Two representatives from each party and one from each farmers' association will take part in the meeting.
AIADMK, DMK, Congress, BJP, CPI, CPM, VCK, IUML and Naam Thamizhar Katchi are some of the parties which will participate.
The meeting had been called by Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK on Monday, scuttling the opposition DMK's plan for a similar discussion.
DMK had said on Sunday that it would convene an all-party meet on the issue, accusing the ruling party of not heeding its demand for such an exercise.
But DMK later cancelled its own meeting after the AIADMK announced one. DMK working president MK Stalin welcomed the announcement of the all-party meeting and said his party would participate and give constructive suggestions to the government on the issue.
He had also said representatives of farmers' associations should be invited as their opinion on the issue was crucial.
The AIADMK's decision to hold an all-party meet is a marked departure from late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's stand on similar matters.
Though the DMK, all along, sought such meetings on key issues like the Cauvery matter, Jayalalithaa had not acceded to it. The meeting on the Cauvery issue comes after a gap of several years. A similar meeting was held during the previous DMK regime, when M Karunanidhi was chief minister.
On Sunday, Chief Minister E Palaniswami had said the Tamil Nadu government would go through the Supreme Court verdict, which reduced the quantum of Cauvery water for the state, and consult legal experts on going for an appeal.
"As far as the appeal is concerned, the Tamil Nadu government will take action after going through the verdict and consulting legal experts," he had said in response to reporters' queries.
He had said that though the apex court's decision to reduce the quantum of water to Tamil Nadu was disappointing, certain other rulings of the court, such as the on which stated that no state could claim ownership to rivers, were welcome.
The Supreme Court had on 16 February directed the Karnataka government to release 177.25 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, reducing the quantum specified by the tribunal in 2007.
With inputs from PTI