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Monday, Sep 30, 2002

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TN for SC route to end Cauvery row

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CHENNAI, Sept 29

TAMIL Nadu prefers to get justice from the Supreme Court, which alone can ensure release of Cauvery water to end the crisis situation prevailing in the delta, the Chief Minister, Ms Jayalalithaa, said in a statement released to the press.

Ms Jayalalithaa's reaction comes in the wake of reported remarks of the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr S.M. Krishna, that the dispute could be settled through talks between the two States.

Ms Jayalalithaa said "the Prime Minister's statement is a categorical admission of his own inability as Chairman of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to get Karnataka to release any water to Tamil Nadu."

The failure of the authority "needs no further proof and it has shown itself to be a powerless and ineffective body, which deserves to be disbanded," she said.

According to Ms Jayalalithaa, both the Prime Minister and the Karnataka Chief Minister have suddenly adopted a placatory stand on the contentious issue and have made overtures to hold talks.

But the issue has been repeatedly discussed and the plight of the farmers explained. Immediate release of water is the only option to prevent the crisis in the delta from turning into a calamity.

"I am at a loss to understand what remains to be discussed afresh at this juncture when the State of Tamil Nadu can brook no further delay," she said.

Through another statement Ms Jayalalithaa urged the farmers' associations in the Cauvery delta districts to call off the proposed bandh on Monday to protest Karnataka's action.

She appealed to those concerned to not to participate in the bandh.

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