TN BJP stages protest, asks Karnataka to drop move to build Mekedatu dam

Source: PTI | By Ameen Zuhaib | Published on 5th August 2021, 7:54 PM | National News |

Thanjavur (TN): The BJP Tamil Nadu unit on Thursday staged a hunger strike here against party-ruled Karnataka''s move to build a reservoir on river Cauvery at Mekedatu.

Amidst a bullock cart procession and wearing green shawls, leaders and cadres of the saffron party raised the pitch demanding that neighbouring Karnataka should not go ahead with the balancing reservoir project which aims to meet both drinking water needs and power generation.

Lashing out at the Karnataka opposition parties for backing the BJP government on the issue there, party''s Tamil Nadu unit president K Annamalai claimed the law was clearly in favour of the lower riparian state, Tamil Nadu, and that Karnataka could not build a dam without its consent.

"Our fast agitation today is to demand the Karnataka government to give up its plans to build the Mekedatu dam. We condemn the opposition parties for asking the government to go ahead with the project. We will not allow its construction," Annamalai said while addressing the party members at the day- long fast here.

"The inter-State River Water Dispute Act is clear. You can not build the dam without the consent of the lower riparian state. BJP always stands for the well-being of the farmers and it will not allow the construction of the Mekedatu dam," Annamalai asserted.

Thanjavur, part of the fertile Cauvery delta region in the state, is described as Tamil Nadu''s "rice bowl."

Annamalai took a swipe at the ruling DMK for allegedly according more importance to enhancing TASMAC liquor sales revenue rather than working towards the welfare of the farmers in the state, claiming it had not conducted a single review meeting pertaining to agriculture.

Training his guns on Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan and Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri for mocking the BJP''s agitation, he said both the leaders humiliated the farmers as they could not comprehend the seriousness of the issue.

"Kamal Haasan''s campaign during the assembly election in Coimbatore resembled a film shooting...people are bound to send him home," he said, apparently referring to the actor''s electoral loss at the hands of party leader Vanathi Srinivasan from Coimbatore South in the April 6 Assembly polls.

He insisted the Tamil Nadu government should extend its cooperation to the Cauvery-Godavari river linking project, and it also expedite the implementation of the Cauvery-Gundaru linking.

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