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Tamil Nadu condemns announcement on dam

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government, on Saturday, condemned the Kerala government's announcement that the construction of a new dam at Mullaperiyar would commence this year.

Referring to the announcement made by Kerala Governor R.S. Gavai in his address to the Kerala Assembly on Friday, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan, while presenting to the State Assembly the interim budget for 2011-12, termed it an act of showing disrespect to the Supreme Court, when the matter was pending before the court.

On the Mullaperiyar issue, the Kerala government had been acting in a manner that was violating the Constitution and harming inter-State relations. The Tamil Nadu government would urge the Union government to counsel Kerala that it should desist from behaving in such a way that would affect the relationship between the two States. At an appropriate time, the latest development would be raised in the Supreme Court, the Finance Minister said tracing the events that took place on the issue in the last five years.

Originally, this response was not part of the Finance Minister's speech.

Even as the Finance Minister was reading out the text of the budget speech, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi consulted Law Minister Durai Murugan before a note on the subject was passed on to the Finance Minister through Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

(The original text of the Minister's speech contained references to the formation of a committee under the chairmanship of the former Chief Justice of India A.S. Anand; inclusion of the former Supreme Court judge A.R. Lakshmanan in the committee; inspection of the committee at the dam site last December and the resumption of arguments this month.)

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