Cauvery row: DMK delegation headed by working president MK Stalin met Governor Banwarilal Purohit to urge him to take initiative for setting up of the CMB before May 3. "We will continue our protest until a board is constituted," he said.
Unhappy with the Centre’s dealing of the decades-old Cauvery dispute, a 50-year-old man today attempted suicide by setting himself ablaze in a bid to exert pressure on the government to fast-track the process to set up a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) as per the directives of the Supreme Court. The man has been identified as Saravana Suresh. He is a close relative of MDMK president Vaiko.
Police said that the victim attempted self-immolation on Madurai-Tirunelveli National Highway this morning. However, the passersby stopped him and rushed him to a nearby private hospital. Suresh is son of Vaiko’s brother-in-law Ramanujam. Police said that Suresh parked his car in the service lane of the highway near district stadium and doused himself with fuel. He then set himself ablaze. People who were near Suresh rescued him and admitted to a hospital. He has suffered 80% burn injuries. Police said that he has been shifted to Apollo Hospital in Madurai where his condition is said to be very critical.
Police, citing eyewitnesses said that Suresh had raised slogans demanding immediate setting up of the CMB and exempt Tamil Nadu from NEET.
The political parties in Tamil Nadu are demanding from the Centre to set up the CMB to divide the water of Cauvery river among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry. But the Centre has so far not submitted any formula in the Supreme Court. They are now saying that the BJP government is delaying the process despite a SC order deliberately keeping the Karnataka Assembly polls in mind. The Karnataka government is opposed to the CMB whereas Kerala has been insisting that Union Secretary or Water Resource Secretary be appointed as the head of the board and secretaries of all four states be made its members.
The Supreme Court had in February asked the Centre to formulate a ‘scheme’ before March 29 on dividing the water of Cauvery river. But on March 30, Centre filed a petition in the top court seeking more clarification and three more months time citing Karnataka Assembly polls. Now, the court has ordered the Centre to submit its draft of the formula before May 3. Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Chennai where he faced massive protests by the opposition parties. His route was also diverted the SPG citing security reasons.
Meanwhile, a DMK delegation headed by working president MK Stalin met Governor Banwarilal Purohit to urge him to take initiative for setting up of the CMB before May 3. “We will continue our protest until a board is constituted,” he said.