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Tamil Nadu opposition parties today voiced concern over the Supreme Court verdict, reducing the amount of water to the state from Cauvery river,even as ruling AIADMK assured to work "diligently" to ensure ryots and people of the state get 177.25 tmc ft apportioned by the court.
DMK Working President M K Stalin described the verdict as "shocking" and accused the Palaniswami regime of not properly presenting the state's case before the apex court and losing it.
The Supreme Court on Friday 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.
The court said the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a "higher pedestal".
Responding to the apex court ruling, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said: "The government will diligently work to bring the 177.25 tmc ft, apportioned by the Supreme Court to Tamil Nadu, to the farmers and the people."
On DMK's charge that the government had not properly presented the state's case before the apex court, he said the opposition party, despite being part of Congress-led UPA at the Centre earlier, could not even get the tribunal's final award published in the Central gazette.
"When did the DMK get us Cauvery water? I would like to remind that the DMK regime, despite being part of Congress-led UPA could not even get the tribunal's final award published in the Central gazette," he said.
While the final award was pronounced in 2007, the gazette notification was done by the Congress-led UPA government in 2013 following a Supreme Court order during the previous AIADMK regime.The late J Jayalalithaa was Chief Minister then.
Panneerselvam said it was Jayalalithaa who had waged "historic battles" for getting Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
Stalin, also the leader of the Opposition, demanded a meeting of political parties and farmers associations to decide on the next course of action on the Cauvery issue.
He also slammed the BJP-led Centre, "which refused to set up Cauvery Management Board even after publishing of the final award of CWDT in gazette and orders from the Supreme Court."
The BJP government at the Centre and ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu "have caused damage of higher proportions to the farmers of Tamil Nadu," he said.
"But all such rights (got through the interim, final awards of the tribunal) have been squandered by the AIADMK regime," he alleged.
He also taunted the ruling party as a "horse-trading regime," an oft-used refrain made by him in the context of the government's majority status.
"Amma's government considered the setting up of CWMB, (which the Supreme Court has directed in the verdict) a good thing", he said.
CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan said farmers in the delta region would be affected by the verdict as they totally depended on Cauvery water for their needs.
"There is nothing to cheer,"BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan said, reacting to the verdict.
Though the water apportioned by the apex court to Tamil Nadu was lower,at the least that quantum should be immediately released, she demanded.
Actor Rajinikanth described the verdict as "very disappointing."
"Since the final verdict by the Supreme Court on the Cauvery water sharing amounts to further affecting the livelihood of farmers in Tamil Nadu, it is very disappointing," he said in a tweet.
The actor, who has announced that he will soon take the political plunge, further said that the Tamil Nadu government should take steps to file a review petition on the matter.
Rajinikanth's contemporary and another political aspirant, Kamal Haasan, urged both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to maintain amity in the wake of the apex court verdict.
Expressing disappointment over the court awarding a lower quantum of water to Tamil Nadu as against the demand, he said the consoling factor was that the apex court had maintained that rivers are common and do not belong to anybody.
"I am disappointed that Tamil Nadu has got a lower share of water, but I think it is also important that we conserve and utilise the water that has been apportioned to the state," he said.
Both states should maintain amity and only such an ambience could help take forward ideas like nationalisation of rivers, he said, adding, it was necessary for the Cauvery Management Board to effectively monitor the flow of water to Tamil Nadu.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy hailed the verdict as 'historic', saying it ensured the Union Territory would continue to receive seven tmcft for Karaikal region, lying at the tail-end of the river basin.
"The Supreme Court's pronouncement has come as a big relief to agriculturists in Karaikal, an enclave of Puducherry in the tail-end of the river basin", he said.
Meanwhile, in Coimbatore, activists of Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhakam and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi were arrested today when they attempted to lay siege of Karnataka Association to protest against the Supreme Court verdict.
They claimed it was against the interests of Tamil Nadu.