Government of Tamil Nadu to consider pleas to permit peaceful protests on Marina
Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said on Sunday that, the State government would consider the pleas for allowing peaceful protests on the Marina beach.
The government would examine whether or not allowing peaceful protests would create law and order issues in the area or cause disturbance to the public, he said.
The Minister was replying to a query from a journalist, who cited a recent observation of the Madras High Court during the hearing of a case filed by farmer leader Ayyakannu that protests could be allowed on the beach front if they were peaceful in nature.
As regards the allegation by some political parties that the AIADMK was acting on its own without consulting other parties on the Cauvery Management Board issue, Mr. Jayakumar said, “There has been no intention to act independently. We had organised an all-party meeting, and a special session of the Assembly was convened over the Cauvery issue, during which a resolution was passed. How then can we be accused of acting independently?” he asked.
Recalling the efforts made by his party since the days of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on the Cauvery issue, Mr. Jayakumar took a swipe at the DMK for not having “seized the opportunities” in the past to secure the State’s rights over Cauvery water.
“The word ‘Scheme’ [in the Supreme Court’s original judgment] is the Cauvery Management Board; ‘Scheme’ is the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee. Let the Centre check the dictionary,” he said, adding that the State government still had hope that the Centre would set up the Cauvery Management Board.
When asked about the AIADMK’s preparedness for the local body polls, he said his party was never shy of any elections.
As for the pending relief to the fishermen affected by the oil spill off the Chennai coast in January last year, Mr. Jayakumar said the State government had repeatedly taken up the issue with the Centre. Instead of waiting for the case in the court, which, he contended, would drag on for over 25 years, the government had brought all the parties together to alleviate the hardship of those affected. A sum of ₹141 crore, including ₹10 crore earmarked for restoration work, would be credited to the bank accounts of 1,12,563 affected fishermen within a few days, he said.