Updated: July 30, 2021 7:24:09 pm
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai has said their party will hold a one-day hunger protest on August 5 at Thanjavur in order to pressure the Karnataka government not to take measures to construct the dam at Mekedatu.
Soon after taking oath as the Karnataka Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai had said: “Our stand on Mekedatu is very clear. Legally we are on the right side. It is our right to utilise surplus water in the Cauvery basin.”
Addressing the reporters on Thursday, Annamalai said on behalf of the farmers’ wing of the party, they will stage a protest at Thanjavur, one of the delta regions in Tamil Nadu.
“Under the leadership of our party’s senior leader Karuppu Muruganantham, the farmer’s wing leader GK Nagarajan, we are going to stage a one-day hunger protest alongside 10,000 delta region farmers against the Karnataka Government. The protest will take place from 9 am till 5 pm. We believe that the dam should not be constructed at Mekedatu,” he said.
Annamalai added that though their party is ruling in Karnataka, they are protesting for the welfare of Tamil Nadu farmers. He said the farmers here are in fear because of Karnataka’s stand on this issue.
“Despite the Water Resources Minister clearly stating that the dam would not be allowed to be constructed at Mekedatu, as it would be a great threat to lower riparian states like Tamil Nadu, the new Karnataka Chief Minister Basvaraj Bommai has issued such a statement which is condemnable,” Annamalai said.
He added that through this protest they are sending out a message to Karnataka that they cannot do politics over the Mekedatu issue henceforth.
“Tamil Nadu BJP will not allow Karnataka to construct even a single brick at Mekedatu,” he added.
Further, he brushed aside the allegations that he spoke in favour of Karnataka during his tenure as an IPS officer in the state. He accused the DMK IT wing of manipulating his speech and circulating it on social media.
On ties with senior ally AIADMK, Annamalai reiterated that there is no bitterness between BJP and AIADMK and the alliance will continue for the upcoming local body elections.
Meanwhile, Pattali Makkal Katchi founder Dr Ramadoss has urged the Tamil Nadu government to set up a committee led by an official with expertise in water resource management to monitor and advise the state on the Mekedatu reservoir issue.
“If a dam is built at Mekedatu across the Cauvery river with about 70 TMC capacity, it would become the largest such facility in Karnataka and lead to an increase in the combined water storage capacity in the neighbouring state to about 185 TMC. When additional storage of 40 TMC was taken into account, the cumulative capacity would jump to 225 TMC. In such an eventuality, Tamil Nadu would not even get a drop of Cauvery water,” Dr. Ramadoss claimed in a statement.
He added that Karnataka was claiming that the proposed facility was to meet the drinking water needs of Bengaluru city but it was already drawing Cauvery water for such requirements and the Supreme Court has allowed it.
He said the Tamil Nadu government should stay vigilant and work accordingly.
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