Jayalalithaa hopes PM will be ‘neutral’ on Cauvery issue

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday put a caveat before the all-party meeting called by the Centre on the Cauvery water dispute. Exuding confidence, especially after her meeting last week in the Capital with PM Narendra Modi, she said she was hopeful Modi would be ‘neutral’ vis-a-vis the Cauvery water dispute with Karnataka. ‘I had taken up this issue with Narendra Modi and I am certain he will take an objective stand,’ said the AIADMK chief. She added it was only fair to give the Centre some time before it acts on her demand to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). She said: ‘The PM kindly said that he would take action. He seeks good relations with Tamil Nadu government and wants to help the state. Constituting the CMB is part of the final award (of 2007) of the Cauvery Tribunal and it needs some time to implement it.’ She added, ‘We are confident the PM will be neutral in this matter and it is fair that the Centre is given some time.’ DMK chief M Karunanidhi had demanded the meeting be held on Sunday, after union chemicals and fertiliser minister Ananth Kumar had said there was no proposal to set up the board, which was recommended in the final order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal. Karunanidhi said it was ‘very, very necessary’ that Jaya calls an all-party meet since there was a question mark over the future of short-term crops in the state.–Tania Ameer Khan
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