Chennai: Top names from Tamil Nadu’s film fraternity joined the ongoing Cauvery protests on Sunday and urged the BJP-led Centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).
While actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan participated in a protest organised by various film bodies, his cinematic and political rival Rajinikanth addressed reporters outside his residence.
“Tamil Nadu is demanding in one voice — set up the Cauvery Management Board. I urge the Prime Minister to take necessary steps,” the actor said.
Objecting to the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in the state, Rajinikanth said, "It would be an embarrassment if we celebrate IPL while common people are thirsty. I implore the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) players to at least sport black bands over the issue," he said.
Asked if his stand would affect the revenue of his films in Karnataka, the actor said, "I am agitating for the right cause."
Soon after addressing reporters, the actor left to join his film industry colleagues at the Valluvarkottam protest where he shared the stage with Haasan, Vijay, Nasser, Vishal, Ilaiyaraaja and son-in-law Dhanush among others.
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Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC), South Indian Artistes' Association (SIAA), Film Employees' Federation of South India (FEFSI) and a distributors' association are taking part in the protest. It has also been organised to demand the closure of the Sterlite Copper plant in Tuticorin, against which the locals have been staging protests, citing health reasons.
Tamil Nadu has moved a contempt plea in the Supreme Court, seeking action against the Centre for allegedly failing to form the Cauvery Management Board and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee within six weeks as ordered by the court on February 16.
In the plea, Tamil Nadu has said the central government was bound to give effect to the judgment by framing a scheme to put in place the CMB and the CWRC within six weeks.
On February 16, the Supreme Court raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share, while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a "higher pedestal".
With the apex court's verdict, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry would be annually entitled to 404.25 tmcft, 284.75 tmcft, 30 tmcft and 7 tmcft of Cauvery water, respectively, out of the total of 740 tmcft.
The court had granted six weeks time to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement on the decades-old Cauvery dispute, which modified the CWDT award of 2007 and made it clear that it will not be extending time for this on any ground.