Opposition parties of Tamil Nadu led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) will hold human chain protest across the state on April 23 demanding that the Centre sets up the Cauvery Water Management Board immediately. The decision was taken on Monday at a meeting that DMK Working President MK Stalin chaired. At the meeting, the resolution had been taken that the demonstrators will form human chains against the union government. The parties also urged Governor Banwarilal Purohit to take steps to form the Cauvery management board immediately. Stalin had a “Cauvery Rights Retrieval Yatra” between April 7 and April 12 that covered the Cauvery basin region in the state. DMK working president M K Stalin said,
“We have decided to hold a human chain protest on April 23 in all district headquarters to press for the formation of the Cauvery Management Board.” The human chain would be staged from 4 pm to 5 pm, he added.
On February 16, the Supreme Court ordered the government to set up the management board within six weeks. The Cauvery management board will decide the allocation of Cauvery river water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The deadline to set up the Cauvery management board ended on March 29, after which the Centre asked the Court for six more weeks to set it up by telling the Karnataka elections will be held in May. The Court has set May 3 as the deadline for the Centre to come out with a draft scheme for implementing its verdict on sharing the Cauvery river water.
The Cauvery river basin is spread over seven districts such as Kodagu, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Mysuru, Tumakuru and Ramanagara. But it is Mandya that is the ground zero of any turmoil as the river irrigates most of the district.
Read also Tamil Nadu Bandh Over Cauvery Issue
The Cauvery river dispute was an issue in the 2004 assembly elections as two years earlier; the Supreme Court had ordered a reluctant Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu. The 2008 assembly elections too were impacted by a string of protests in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the final award of the tribunal set up to adjudicate the matter. It did not figure prominently in the discourse of 2013 elections as the matter was in the Supreme Court.
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