With the Cauvery issue continuing to hold political centre-stage, former Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram today sought to know if the BJP-led Centre was "tilting" towards Karnataka to capture power in that state.
He said if the Central government, "which is required to be neutral", was "tilting" towards Karnataka, it showed its hankering and "hope" for power in the neighbouring state.
"They (BJP) believe that they will be able to capture power in Karnataka in the next election (2018 Assembly polls)," he said at a gathering of party workers and supporters who were on a fast, protesting against the Centre's stand on formation of Cauvery Management Board.
He said though it was usual for one state to accuse another "the question is if the Centre is carrying out its responsibility or not. The Centre is skirting its responsibility."
The former Union minister said that by doing so, the BJP-led government was trying to get "political mileage".
Attacking the Tamil Nadu BJP, he said it would not be able to capture power in the state.
Besides Chidambaram, other Congress leaders present were former Union minister Dhanushkodi Adithan, former TNCC presidents K V Thangkabalu, Kumari Ananthan and Congress leaders 'Karate' Thyagarajan, former party MPs and MLAs.
TNCC president S Tirunavukarasar, who spoke on the occasion, said the Centre should act effectively on the Cauvery water dispute and form Cauvery Water Management Board.
Steps should be taken to provide relief to farmers affected by lack of water for their crops, he said.
Meanwhile, CPI today joined various political parties in Tamil Nadu in expressing concern over the Centre not yet setting up the Cauvery Management Board.
CPI leader R Mutharasan said in a statement that party leaders, including himself, would participate in the proposed train picketing programme on October 17 and 18 to press for CMB and to condemn the centre for "betraying" the interest of Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery issue.
"It was shocking to learn from the Centre's statement that it had no power to form the CMB, though the Supreme Court had directed it to do so," he said.
He demanded to know why the Centre was hesitant to form CMB when other directions of the apex court like forming the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and issuing the gazette notification of the tribunal's order had been implemented.