Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam to take Cauvery movement to the masses
Stressing the need to protect farmers and agriculture in the State, actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan on Saturday announced six points, on which a group comprising “friends of farmers” would deliberate further.
Addressing the press after holding discussions with representatives of various farmers’ associations and political parties, including the Pattali Makkal Katchi, the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, the Congress, the Tamilaga Makkal Jananayaka Katchi, the Hindu Makkal Katchi and the All India Latchiya Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, he said the first priority would be to ensure that the final judgment of the Supreme Court regarding the sharing of Cauvery waters was implemented.
Other resolutions passed at the meeting touched upon the need to desilt lakes and ponds in the State; construct check dams to conserve water; increase the minimum support price (MSP) of all agricultural produce; and explore legal options to declare the Cauvery delta region a protected agricultural zone.
Mr. Haasan said a committee comprising representatives of farmers and technical experts would be formed to supervise and implement all these points. “We plan to make it a movement of the masses,” he added.
Asked why only certain political parties had attended the meeting, he said there was a lack of understanding about the motive of the meeting.
On actor Rajinikanth choosing to stay away from the meeting, he said though he had called him, Mr. Rajinikanth had said that since he was yet to start his party, people would ask him why he was at an all-party meet. “I feel he could have come. This is only the first of many meetings and I hope he will attend those,” he added.
PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss said that though he also belonged to a political party, he had set aside ideological differences and attended the meeting in the interest of the farmers. The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal had suggested that a technical board be set up to oversee the sharing of water between the three States and a Union Territory. However, the Centre was setting up a commission. “Both are different, and unless the commission has control over the dams in these States, we would go back to square one,” he explained.
Actor and Latchiya Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader T. Rajendar said he had attended the meeting to convey his best wishes to Mr. Hassan on his efforts.