Invoke Article 356 in Karnataka: DMK to PM

Even as Tamil Nadu on Tuesday decided to approach the Supreme Court against Karnataka's move to stop sharing the Cauvery river water, the DMK urged the Centre to dismiss the Karnataka government that has declined to implement the order of the Prime Minister-led Cauvery River Authority and the apex court.

Party president M Karunanidhi urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, that to ensure good relations between the two states, the Union government should come to a final decision about invoking Article 356, a provision to dismiss an elected government which many, including, till now, Karunanidhi himself, considered draconian. The message was conveyed to the PM by DMK parliamentary party leader T R Baalu on Tuesday.

"I am making this appeal without any ill will towards the people of Karnataka. This should be done so that at least in future it should be a lesson for state governments like Karnataka. I am making this appeal with tears to make sure that the fields of Tamil Nadu do not become graveyards," said Karunanidhi.

Significantly, Baalu spoke about invocation of Article 356 without actually demanding it. He said that Karunanidhi has always opposed invocation of Article 356. "However, this extraneous and vexatious situation brought upon a great and imminent danger to the social fabric of the country. It is our sincere hope that you will not be pushed to take such an extreme step," he said.

The party objected to Union ministers from Karnataka taking up the state's cause and urged the PM to restrain them. "Is it proper for ministers of the Union government to hold and advocate briefs of one particular state and create a hostile environment amongst neighbouring states? Will not the partisan attitudes of the ministers of the Union government be detrimental to the principles of national integration," Baalu said in his memorandum to the PM.

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