Chennai, Sept. 14: Joining issue with Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar, ADMK leader and chief minister Jayalalithaa today categorically denied there was any dithering by her party MPs over the Cauvery waters issue or that she had “plagiarised his version of the issue”.
The ADMK chief said Aiyar’s rush to defend Tamil Nadu’s Opposition parties and “attacks” against her through a rash of articles in various newspapers betrayed a “guilty conscience” as he belonged to the party that is responsible for Tamil Nadu’s current woes.
In an exhaustive nine-page statement released here this evening, Jayalalithaa dubbed Aiyar’s charge of “plagiarism” against her as “totally unwarranted”.
Calling Aiyar a “notorious wordsmith”, Jayalalithaa pooh-poohed his attempts to justify the “sins of omission and commission on the part of all and sundry in the Opposition”.
Aiyar, representing Mayiladuthurai in the Lok Sabha, had criticised her handling of the Cauvery issue.
Jayalalithaa listed the steps taken by the ADMK regime to lessen the sufferings of the farmers in the Cauvery delta, including the announcement of a Rs 164-crore relief package after Karnataka failed to release Cauvery waters earlier this year. She also ridiculed Aiyar for “making much of the DMK and the Congress representation in the Parliamentary Consultative Committee” on this issue.
Karnataka’s intransigence and the Centre’s partisan attitude were more than clear at the recent river authority meeting, Jayalalithaa said, adding: “It was my bold initiative to move the Supreme Court of India that even led to the few forward steps that could be taken in the matter.”
“What impact did the so-called Congress and DMK’s pleas in the Parliamentary Committee have'” when “one-sided minutes” of the meetings was issued by the Union water resources ministry, asked the ADMK chief.
The ADMK has been “consistent from the very beginning” in opposing the Cauvery River Authority, which “is incapable of dispensing justice to Tamil Nadu and considers the Supreme Court alone as the ultimate dispenser of justice vis-à-vis the Cauvery issue. It is gratifying to note that Aiyar concurs with me in this respect,” Jayalalithaa said.
“No matter what Mani Shankar Aiyar writes in English, I would like to know whether he can go to his Mayiladuthurai constituency and explain to the Tamil-speaking people who elected him, why he could not take efforts to get Cauvery water for the delta area and why he could not prevail on his foreign leader (Sonia Gandhi) to issue directions to Karnataka’s Congress chief minister to obey the orders of the Supreme Court,” she added.