Venkaiah sends out T.N. MPs

Invoking the rules of procedure, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu asked 12 All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) members to leave for the day, as despite repeated requests and warning they continued to remain in the well of the House protesting against the proposed Mekadatu dam on the Cauvery. The move came after an emergency meeting between the two Tamil Nadu parties and Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari failed to break the ice. Mr. Gadkari was summoned by Mr. Naidu to listen to the concerns of the two parties. The Minister, according to sources, said the dam would not be constructed without the consent of the Tamil Nadu government. He, however, refused to recall the order of the Central Water Commission (CWC) giving in-principle approval for Karnataka to prepare a detailed project report, the first step towards construction of the dam. He said the commission was just following procedure. “We are not satisfied with the response of the Minister. The CWC has no jurisdiction to pass this order. As per the Supreme Court judgment, only the Cauvery Management Authority has the right to take decisions. Until the government withdraws the CWC order, we will continue with our protests,” A. Navaneethakrishnan, AIADMK floor leader in the Rajya Sabha, told The Hindu . DMK MP Tiruchi Siva too said the only way to arrive at a truce was to withdraw the CWC order. Those who were told to leave were Mr. Navaneethakrishnan, S. Muthukaruppan, N. Gokulakrishnan, A.K. Selvaraj, R. Lakshmanan, Vijila Sathyananth, S.R. Balasubramoniyan, A. Vijayakumar, R.S. Bharathi, Tiruchi Siva, Kanimozhi and T.K.S. Elangovan. Appeal to Chairman According to sources, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’ Brien met Mr. Naidu urging him not to insist on further action against the named MPs. The two parties have been protesting in the Upper House since the start of the winter session on December 11, the AIADMK with placards in the well of the House and the DMK members mutely standing at their seats. On Wednesday, the DMK MPs too joined AIADMK members in the well and shouted slogans. DMK’s Tiruchi Siva led the sloganeering with the call “ Vendum [We want], vendum ” and AIADMK members chiming in response “Needhi[Justice]vendum.” Despite the Chair’s ruling, the members continued to shout slogans, resulting in two breaks before the House was adjourned till Thursday.

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